Organic Coffee from the state of Oaxaca
Indigenous community produces organic coffee
Somewhere within the depths of the State of Oaxaca, hidden in the midst of its mountain range, lies a small and charming town called San Juan Lachao. An indigenous community that for many years, struggled against the harmful consequences the paper industry left in the area. However, things are different now… Today, the residents of San Juan Lachao are part of an ambitious project that is improving their life and surroundings; a project supported by NGO’s (Non-Government Organizations) that in fact releases an exquisite scent of coffee.
The town of San Juan Lachao is working very hard to turn this project into a reality, which has the main purpose of improving the natural surroundings of the town, without affecting the economic development of the community… And they are actually managing to do it!
We have to remember that the San Juan Lachao community is launching an offset forest project- the first one under the Mexico Forest Protocol- which commits the town’s residents to develop Eco-systemic services that help improve the natural surroundings. These can be direct (like the eco-production of food or water) or indirect (the regulation of natural Acts of God like flooding, erosion or even soil salinization).
The four towns that belong to the Chantino zone (San Juan Lachao, Santa Catarina Juquila, Tataltepec de Valdes and San Pedro Tututepec) have the ideal conditions for the production of coffee. The pine/oak and cloud forests, plus the altitude above sea level of the towns’ surroundings, add a particular flavor and aroma to the final product, features that have led to the export and merchandising of this exquisite and organic coffee.
This zone of Oaxaca has an extensive land of organic coffee crops, all of them managed by local farmers and indigenous communities nearby. To prevent soil-damage, many of them use bio-fertilizers made from organic microorganisms and eco-systems, such as solar energy plants.
Michizá is a cooperative fully dedicated to the production of organic coffee. Up until today, the organization has 833 associates and all together grow from 500 to 600 tons of organic coffee per year.
Rigoberto Contreras Diaz, coffee producer from San Juan Lachao, explained that Michizá has around 2,015 hectares of coffee crops, 95% of them have been awarded with 25 international certifications and 25 more for merchandising the product.
The organic coffee grown in this indigenous community has been certified by Naturland, an organic products organization with the highest international standards, even more than the German national eco label, Bio-Siegel.
The cooperative exports this product to Austria, Germany, Netherlands, European Union and United States.
San Juan Lachao is proving that the indigenous communitiesof Mexico have the potential to produce world certified products, without affecting nature.
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