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Organic-Fair Farming HAND IN HAND-Partner

Hero coffee from Guatemala

HAND IN HAND partner CODECH protects tropical forests
Fair-trade, organic Arabica coffee produced by peasants in sustainable forestry cultivation - that is what the CODECH Cooperative from Guatemala is known for. Small peasant families protect the tropical rainforest through sustainable, near-natural organic coffee cultivation in mixed culture.
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As HAND IN HAND partner, the cooperative supplies Rapunzel with Arabica coffee beans. Arabica coffee has a distinct, strong flavor, refined with delicate notes of chocolate and caramel. With their coffee cultivation, the cooperative actively contributes to the protection of biodiversity and to climate protection - this makes them heroes.

This commitment is part of HAND IN HAND, Rapunzel's proprietary, externally certified fair trade program. HAND IN HAND guarantees personal contact at eye level, long-term cooperation and support for local, eco-social projects. HAND IN HAND also promises 100 % best quality organic.

more about hero coffee
Kaffee Grafik
CODECH in brief
  • Small peasant cooperative in Northwest Guatemala
  • Nearly 400 members organized in three sub-cooperatives
  • Founded in 1998, organically certified since 2007, HAND IN HAND partner since 2021
  • Cultivation of Arabica coffee in the Cuchumatanes mountain area

Cultivation in near-natural mixed culture 

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In the shade of tropical forest trees, farmer Porfirio Baldemar Velásquez Calmo inspects his coffee plants: he removes shoots, fertilizes the coffee with homemade organic fertilizer, thoroughly removes individual, diseased coffee cherries. With these and many other measures, the coffee farmer keeps his plants healthy. Every year, Porfirio harvests three tons of organic raw coffee from his two hectares of land.
The CODECH members grow their coffee trees in mixed culture
The CODECH members grow their coffee trees in mixed culture
The CODECH members grow their coffee trees in mixed culture
Coffee farmer Porfirio Baldemar Velásquez Calmo in his forest garden
Coffee farmer Porfirio Baldemar Velásquez Calmo in his forest garden
Coffee farmer Porfirio Baldemar Velásquez Calmo in his forest garden
Hero coffee Guatemala, whole beans HAND IN HAND
Hero coffee Guatemala, whole beans HAND IN HAND
Porfirio Baldemar Velásquez Calmo lives in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes in Guatemala – the highest mountain range in Central America - and since 2013, he is an organically and fair-trade certified member of the Cooperative Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Desarrollo de Concepción Huista, abbreviated CODECH. The growing regions of the cooperative's members are located at altitudes up to 2,220 m. There, the farmers cultivate typical and well-adapted coffee varieties, such as the varieties Caturra, Catuaí, Pache verde and Bourbon. 

Growing their coffee in near-natural mixed culture is essential for the peasants of the Cooperative. Next to coffee plants, these agroforestry systems are therefore home to many other trees such as medlar, banana and avocado trees, different citrus fruits, but also pumpkin and tuberous plants, medicinal herbs, spices and other plants are found there. Sustainable cultivation in combination with fair trade allows the peasant to live permanently of their mixed cultures without having to destroy the forests.

Harvest and processing

The harvest season lasts from December through April. Normally, the peasant families harvest the coffee beans three times at intervals of four to eight weeks. The second harvest is the main harvest. The farmers manually pick the coffee cherries. Subsequently, they remove the pulp of the coffee cherries using small, manually-operated machines. The recovered beans are fermented for two days before they are washed. Some of the beans are kept in water for an additional day.
The drying of the coffee beans that takes about three to four days is also done on the individual peasants' plots. Next, the farmers submit harvest samples to the CODECH laboratory for organoleptic inspection and further quality tests. Finally, the dried coffee beans are transported to the warehouses of the respective basis cooperative. 
Coffee farmer Candelaria Vargas Escobar dries her coffee beans
Coffee farmer Candelaria Vargas Escobar dries her coffee beans
Coffee farmer Candelaria Vargas Escobar dries her coffee beans

Year-round advice 

Since their organic and fair-trade certification in 2013, CODECH got further impulses for the strengthening of their value added chains through the cooperation with the tropical forest foundation OroVerde. To this end, fair prices for the peasants are equally as important as daily-practiced forest protection.

Additionally to fair prices for their coffe, the members receive social security benefits and a fair-trade premium from Rapunzel's HAND IN HAND program. The local farmers themselves decide on how this premium is used. Rapunzel also supports the small peasant families with the installation of house gardens for their families and with education and training courses - decisive for good future prospects. Several times per year, agricultural advisers visit the members' plots. In addition, the Cooperative offers its members six professional training classes per year.

Fair coffee cultivation gives the families a good income and security and improves their living conditions. Not only the members benefit, but also their immediate surroundings, because CODECH also provides medical support and first aid equipment for the entire community. 

More about hero coffe and its heroes 

Getting known to our Coffee Heros
Getting known to our Coffee Heros

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