Chiapas, Mexico | Sept 2015 - Jan 2016
The farmers rely on the biosphere’s health for their water, pollinators (bees, insects, animals), and the rich soil to grow specialty coffee.
In turn, the co-op is one of the few businesses allowed to farm within the buffer zone, specifically because of their sustainable practices.
CESMACH has been hit by an aggressive fungus called Coffee Leaf Rust. This fungus kills coffee plants, dramatically reducing harvest levels and therefore income.
Prioritizing Rust as a challenge to the co-op’s survival, CESMACH developed a 4 Year Plan to address it. Now one year into this work, they are implementing their holistic response. They recognize that just like every farm is a complex system, each community of farms is complex and has a different mix of strengths, realities and resources, including land size, access to cash, and levels of agricultural expertise. Instead of a one-size-fits-all plan, CESMACH has developed nuanced action plans for—and with—each base community.
This past March, as the CESMACH harvest cycle was wrapping up, Todd and Carly, our Green Coffee Buyers, visited one of these base communities, Pablo Galeana. They were inaugurating a new office meeting space in this remote village and adopting their own plan to systematically replace older trees with more rust-resistant tree varieties. In the face of significant obstacles, the spirit was one of hope and united action.
Read more about CESMACH:
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Our Biosphere Reserve Series showcases coffee from some of the most wondrous and wild corners of the globe, and helps to keep them that way!