“A Few Questions With…” is a series featuring some of Ally’s partners across the globe. Our goal is to get to know the people who make coffee happen a little better, to talk about their work, and to look forward toward their vision of where coffee is headed. We’re thankful for these relationships that we get to be a part of, and excited to have the opportunity to let these folks tell you about themselves in their own words.
The following responses have been translated and edited for clarity.
Ana Mildred Muñoz is a coffee producer in the Santander region of Colombia. Her farm, Finca Santa Maria, is found in Aratoca, Santander near the other properties that make up the La Pradera family of farms. Ana Mildred has produced Organic coffee at Finca Santa Maria since 2016, not unlike its sister farm La Pradera Hacienda Cafetera, but what really sets Santa Maria apart is that the farm is run and managed by 22 women heads of household. Alongside its Organic and Rainforest Alliance certifications, coffee from Santa Maria also holds a Con Manos de Mujer certification, verifying that it was produced by the hard work of women coffee producers. We’re proud to continue our relationship with Finca Santa Maria and the La Pradera family into its third year, and to continue supporting women producers and professionals throughout the coffee world.
Ana Mildred Muñoz
Ally: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Mildred: I like to grow garden plants, including special orchids.
A:What is your favorite food to have with coffee?
M: I like to drink coffee with arepas de choclo.
A: Where does the name of your farm come from?
M: The farm is called Santa Maria in tribute to the Virgin Mary. The people here are devout, and during dry times there are prayers to the Virgin Mary to bring rain.
A: How has your job changed as a result of your relationship with importers and roasters?
M: These relationships are very important for me because, thanks to them, the world knows the work, effort, and love that we place in each process. We learned to know our coffee, and thanks to your purchase it supports the many families of the Finca Santa Maria women's group.
A: What has changed in your perspective as a coffee producer in the last five or ten years?
M: During these years we have learned and improved our coffee production, which has led us to implement quality standards and to innovate our processes according to the market trends.
The women of Finca Santa Maria
A: What does coffee mean to you?
M: Coffee for me is the fruit of our work and the sacrifice of women, with the satisfaction reflected in a high quality cup of coffee.
A: What is one message you would like to share with the coffee community?
M: The discipline, consistency, perseverance, and effort that we use day after day in our work is reflected in the recognition of our clients.
A: What do you hope to see for the future of your farm? What do you hope to see for the future of coffee?
M: In the future we hope to continue growing, linking new generations, teaching them the love of the field and growing coffee, and so continue with the improvement of the quality of life of the family of the region.
I hope that coffee growing in Colombia will continue to grow in quality and positioning at the international level, capturing new consumers. I also hope that there will be greater relationships between roasters and producers.