Happy New Year! Wishing all our friends across the world a brilliant year ahead.

It’s been a while. The Coffee Bird family has been working extremely hard over the last year. 2017 was filled with great fun and lots of growth. We’ve gone from a team of 2 to a team of 6, we are working with more farmers and more coffee roasters. We had a special celebration last February with our clients to honour our 5th birthday. It was really special and curated by an amazing Guatemalan chef. It was nice to finally take some time to relax and celebrate the local Guatemalan flavours with our dearest customers and a special producer.

 

The 2017 crop was the first time I’ve heard everyone talking about the same thing- climate change. There was a drought in 2016 which impacted a lot of the farms we worked with. The farmers we work with are planning on how to continue to grow coffee with less rain. It was incredibly brilliant to visit Diana and her farm Las Cordonices and see her vision for coffee in the “dry” part of Huehuetenango.

 

We were recognized by the SCA and honoured with the SCA NEW PACKAGING Award for the up cycled Denim bags along side Finca San Jeronimo and New Denim Project. Have you heard about these denim bags? Beyond their beautiful texture, the coolest bit about them is that they are created by waste from a jean and t shirt manufacturing mill. The left over cotton and off cuts of denim are cleaned and spun into beautiful sturdy yarn making up the bags.

2017 SCA New Product of the Year

Beyond the busy-ness of a growing business, it was really remarkable to experience the impact of working with the farmers now for 4 to 5 years. Homes were extended. Livelihoods have improved and it’s been pretty incredible to see the snowball effect too. As the farmers we work with get stronger (in their quality practices and financially), they pull their neighbours in and help them improve their quality. At first this was just an idea, and we have traded on our principles, and it’s great to now be able to observe the impact we are making.

I’m so excited for the year ahead. The 2018 crop seems to be on track.  We we had some colder weather in parts of Huehue that seem to have pushed back the crop by a few weeks. So far it’s all clean, sweet and juicy on the cupping table!

Whilst we are beginning to observe the positive impact of our business, we are just scratching the surface. We need to continue to push the boundaries and explore.

What continues to inspire me about our wider community is that it just takes a few people to have a vision, and a community that conspire with, to create change and turn things around.  I believe for us to truly make a positive change in the supply chain we need to reimagine a system where winning together is the norm.  I feel very grateful to have such amazing support with our clients and coffee farmers that enable us to to create opportunities even in the darkest of places.

Thank you for being part of our journey.

Don’t worry, I’m back out of the sabbatical and excited to share some ideas and our experiences very soon.

Marta

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