The story behind
Finca el Cachimbon is in the Lempira area of Western Honduras. Owned by Porfilio Lopez, El Cachimbon has 17 hectares, 15 of which are cultivated. San Andreas is a small municipality within the state of Lempira, with a population of 15,000 people primarily involved in the cultivation of coffee. This farm is currently in their second season of the LIFT program, which is a five-year sustainability program designed to increase crop yield and coffee quality at the producer level.
The farm sits between 1,600 and 1,675 meters above sea level, with an average temperature of 71 degrees and grows lempira and Ihcafe 90. Both varieties were developed in Honduras with the aim of fighting diseases like rust and coffee berry borer, and are based originally on catimor, but were selected for their quality while still being very hardy.
Sr. Lopez, who goes by Lito, is a gregarious person, and when we visit, he brings his entire family with him on the tour. He is a local leader and has been a strong advocate for LIFT in his community. When asked what he sees as the main benefit of LIFT is, he replies, “I like that there are commitments that all the members must fulfill, and access to technical assistance has had great impact in my farm.”
Mr. Lopez processes his own coffee after picking only red ripe cherries, and pays particular attention to the washing, fermentation and drying of their coffees to create exceptional coffee. The coffees are floated for quality and then sun dried. At the height of harvest Lito hires up to 50 pickers to keep up with production. Because of his standing in the community, he can hire the same people each year, which aids in quality improvement.