The region of Ocotepeque is in the far West of Honduras, bordering El Salvador and Guatemala. It has the country’s highest peak and cloud forests in the Sierra del Merendón range, is the point at which Guatemala’s Rio Grande flows into Honduras and is just south of the ancient Mayan city of Copán, Honduras’ most popular tourist site.
It is also home to AMPROCAL, the women’s coffee co-operative where we source our Honduran coffee. The co-operative was founded in 2007 by a group of eight women entrepreneurs in the rural area of Pashapa la Labor and now has around 90 members, all women.
One of the benefits the co-operative has brought to its members is access to credit, the importance of which is easily understood when you learn that it takes three years from planting a coffee bush to harvesting its first crop. In most coffee growing countries, credit is often harder or in some cases impossible for women to obtain, one of the many injustices that women coffee growers face compared to men.
Another benefit of co-operative membership is that members are able to receive a premium for the coffees they produce. Through negotiating power, achieving Fairtrade & Organic certifications and improving training to increase yields and quality, it all adds up to every member achieving better prices for their harvest.
These benefits extend to the future as well. AMPROCAL member Aldemara Herrera has said that the premium she receives for her coffee means her children now see coffee farming as a viable future for them as well.
And the coffee itself? The organic beans we receive from AMPROCAL are one of the real highlights of the Bean to Door range. If you want to find out for yourself and support the Honduran women farmers, start a subscription here: https://www.beantodoor.co.uk/our-coffee/#honduras