Coffee growing in Guatemala represents a significant percentage of the national economy. In addition, the country was the number 1 coffee producer in central America for a large part of the 20th century. Several of the many current coffee-growing regions and cooperatives stand out for the quality of the coffees produced.
The town is located in Panchoy valley, at the centre of the country, surrounded by the Agua, Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes. Coffee is grown in fertile volcanic soil at an altitude of between 1 700 and 2 000 metres. Bourbon varieties are headed at 1.5 m to simplify harvesting. Trees providing shade are also severely pruned after harvesting (April/May), and then rapidly grow again to provide maximum shade when the fruit ripens.
The risk of frost is high in the area, but trees providing shade also offer protection from cold, and sometimes fires are lit to avoid any risk of frost. Thanks to all these little details, the final coffee is well-balanced with some fruity and chocolate undertones
THE LARGEST EXISTING FEDERATION OF COOPERATIVES
FEDECOCAGUA, the largest cooperative federation in the country, was founded in 1969, and includes around 20,000 growers. Members make their own decisions for the future of their cooperative as part of democratic committees. Thanks to Fair trade bonuses, the federation has been able to effectively fight coffee rust, which had destroyed a significant share of harvests.
The Federation continuously organises training sessions for its members to boost their technical, administrative and organisational capabilities. The Federation monitors improvements in harvests and the quality of the coffees produced.