GROWER: 150 producer members of La Asociación Para El Avance E Innovación Tecnológica De La Agroindustria y La Agroforestación Tolimense (ASOAGROTOL GALILEA)
VARIETY: Castillo, Caturra, and Colombia
REGION: Galilea, Villarrica municipality, Tolima, Colombia
ALTITUDE: 1500 – 1800 masl
PROCESS: Fully washed
CUP NOTES: Raspberry, nectarine, Orange chocolate
For many years, Tolima has remained hidden in plain sight, cradled between other well-known coffee growing regions, because armed conflict and coca leaf production isolated small coffee producers and exposed them to high rates of violence. For this reason much of Tolima has remained an untapped source of specialty coffee where thousands of producers have been cultivating coffee on just a few acres of land intercropped with shade trees, bananas, corn, beans and sugarcane.
As conflict has subsided in recent years, locally organized associations have taken the lead in creating market access for these producers. Established in 2016 with 150 producer-members, Asoagrotol Galilea has focused on certifications and training producers in best organic practices. The cooperative has invested in basic infrastructure needs like road improvements, establishing local warehouses, creating micro-credit for producers and investing in social programs on a larger and more impactful scale, using the collective resources generated from the sale of coffee. Environmental training programs, healthcare initiatives, life insurance, and educational opportunities are just some of the ways the cooperative strives to improve the quality of life for coffee producers and their families.
Producers carefully harvest and sort cherries before depulping, fermenting, washing, and drying the coffee using their own micro-mills and then deliver the coffee to the cooperative. Traceability and quality control throughout the post harvest process is also ensured because Mastercol, a Colombian exporter company and trusted Royal partner, prepares this coffee for export.