Bolivian coffee farmers, like most coffee farmers, have faced years of struggles. The most recent was "Roya", a coffee fungus that cut production by as much as 70% in recent years. In the Caranavi region, where the producers of SCAGREM have their farms, many abandoned coffee farming and turned to growing coca, which is used for tea in the local market as a very healthy and natural beverage to help with stomach ailments and elevation sickness. (I chew it and drink the tea multiple times a day when I'm in the highlands of Bolivia and Peru to fight off altitude sickness). Unfortunately there is also a much more lucrative market for coca leaf for the processing and production of cocaine.This is why Mayorga has made a very strong commitment to helping SCAGREM succeed with coffee...to keep farmers out of the coca to cocaine supply chain to instead grow crops that are good for their land, their community, their consumers...and their FUTURE!
Working with farmers in Bolivia, especially the Caranavi region, is challenging. Bolivia is a landlocked country (no shipping port), getting to caranavi is logistically challenging, and the communities are very deeply rooted in their traditions. Most U.S. importers have turned their backs on Bolivia over the last 3-5 years, with statements like "it's too challenging to do business there" or their output has really declined" to justify their callousness. Mayorga is the only U.S. roaster working directly with SCAGREM and is just as committed to Caranavi's farmers as ever. Está es nuestra gente, and we don't turn our backs on our people! We're paying excellent prices and are committing to them on a long-term basis to bring customers the best of Bolivia.
We expect to have this beautiful coffee arrive from Bolivia in early October and will be offering it on our website and other sales channels as of October 15th. When you buy a bag, you won't just be drinking a delicious cup of coffee. You'll be an integral member of a supply chain that gives people in Caranavi a sense of hope and pride. That's the Mayorga way!