Sustainability Programs: In the department of La Paz, where the wet mill 'Los Andes' is located, Sogimex S.A. is launching a sustainability program that will in a first step benefit around 50 producers. This program will be run in line with the Rainforest Alliance’s requirements, as the certification will be offered to some of the producers.
We will focus our help on the education given to producers and workers to reach the following goals:
Improvement of coffee production under sustainable practices to reverse extremely low yield.
Improvement on coffee quality.
An agronomist has been hired exclusively for this project and has already begun to visit the participating producers to make a first diagnostic of the farms. Hereunder some of the problems seen in various places, which can easily be resolved:
Infection of the trees nursery by worms and potential risk of wiping out the whole farm by spreading the disease; solution: creation, under strict control, of a common nursery where the producers would have at their disposal selected and certified trees.
Fertilizers chosen without knowing the real needs of the trees; solution: drawing of soil-samples and analysis of chemicals components.
Working habits following tradition more than efficiency; solution: organization of technical workshops.
As a summary of these first visits we could conclude, that the lack of education led the producers to take inadequate decisions and prevented them to optimize their yield.
To try to have the producers understanding the benefit of their participations to such program, we plan, with the help of Rainforest Alliance, to organize a presentation. The message of it will be that, in counter-party of the financial or technical support, the producers will have to accept to modify their working habits to comply with the sustainable standards.
Millstone's School Project Presentation