The La Julia farm is located at 1530 masl, and consists of 10 Hectares with a mix of the cultivars Catuai and Java. Ripe cherries are hand picked by local pickers. The pickers are paid extra to sort ripe cherries from the unripe while they are picking. Sorting is done by simply putting the cherries in separate bags. After de-pulping the mucilage is removed with the use of a penagos aqua pulper. Then the parchment is fermented for 12 hours before it is washed using African washing techniques which helps sorting floaters and undeveloped beans from the denser and more developed coffee. Then the coffee gets dried slowly on raised beds covered with shade net.
Marysabel Caballero and her husband Moises Herrera are working with over 200 hectares of land, planted with coffee, together with Marysabel’s father Fabio Caballero. They are 2nd and 3rd generation coffee farmers and Fabio has been rewarded many times for his commitment to developing coffee quality in Honduras. We have known the family since mid 2000, and Nordic started buying coffee from them in 2012.
Don Fabio Caballero inherited large areas of land in and around Marcala from his father, who was one of the pioneers of coffee cultivation in Honduras. After many years of poor profits, he decided to hand out land to his children, and especially to his daughter Marysabel and her husband Moises Herrera. Moises brought his own farms in to the family business and together they have almost 200 hectares of coffee separated into 17 different farms.
They have since been extremely successful producing quality coffees and have contributed to the improving reputation of Honduran quality coffees. Everything they do at the farms is documented, and they invest considerable time and resources both in new equipment and planting of new coffee varieties in order to improve the quality of the coffee.
The Caballeros are extremely committed to the environmental sustainability of their farms. A lot of their energy and focus goes towards improving the soil of their farms to ensure a healthy growing environment for their coffee shrubs. Therefore, they produce organic fertiliser made from cow and chicken manure mixed with pulp from coffee cherries and other organic material. This is used in addition to some mineral fertiliser to ensure that the coffee plants get the nutrients they need. Oranges, avocados, flowers, bananas and other fruits are also grown at the farms, but mainly for the pickers to eat and to create biodiversity at the farms that ensures good growing conditions and shade for the coffee trees.
Don Fabio, Marysabel and Moises has always focused on quality leading to getting 3rd price at the annual SCAA “Coffee of the year” competition in 2010. They have also done well in the Cup of Excellence for many years, as one of the few producers from their area.