ASPROFECH is an association of diverse smallholder producers of specialty coffee, with 70 male and 20 female members representing 60 families. Members are rural landholders, including people of indigenous and Afrolatin descent, living in the San Luis municipality of Paez in Eastern Cauca. Member farms are located at elevations between 1500 and 2000 meters above sea level.
ASPROFECH was founded in 2013 by local producers with a desire to earn more for the quality of their coffee. San Luis is close to the coffee hub of La Plata in Huila, and producers learned that their coffee’s characteristics differentiated it from coffees grown in nearby regions. Since founding ASPROFECH, producers have continued to invest in the collective quality and sustainability of their members’ farms and have sought support from government and non-government organizations.
This lot is named for the Tierradentro National Archeological Park near San Luis Paez. Tierradentro was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 together with the San Agustin Archeological Park in Huila. Tierradentro is one of the most important sites for pre-Columbian culture, with Nasa nation and Guambiano settlements.
Thanks to San Luis’ complex topography with a mix of highlands, plateaus, moorlands, and valleys along the Paez River, farms in the vicinity of Tierradentro have microclimates suited for a variety of crops, including coffee, wheat, vegetables, sugarcane, and foliage. The abundance of natural freshwater resources plays an important role for irrigation. Infrastructure is limited, however, and the main roads require frequent maintenance due to landslides, deforestation, and flooding. Producers each have a modest micromill on their properties, including some with stainless steel eco-mills and plastic mobile fermentation tanks.
The area around Tierradentro has faced challenges for nearly fifty years related to the illegal coca trade and the presence of armed forces. Episodes of violence forced residents to migrate to the most rural parts of the region.
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