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Luz Marina is a 68-year old coffee grower who lives with her mother and five siblings in Titiribí. For the past 23 years, she has cultivated coffee on her 5 hectares of land. The coffee she produces is certified by Fair Trade and 4C.
Luz Marina explains the positive influence Fair Trade has on her farm practices, including wastewater management, use of pesticides and documentation of activities. She mentions: "They encourage us to do everything organically. They emphasize on the proper treatment of wastewaters and how to handle the coffee pulp. Additionally, they check we respect labour standards and that we don’t use pesticides. The cooperative also requires us to document certain activities such as trees blossoming and relevant information about temporal workers".
She conducts several practices that enhance the sustainability of her farm. The coffee pulp is used as organic compost, weeding is done manually, and several alternative crops are planted between coffee plants such as banana, cassava, mango, and orange trees. To protect the coffee plants against the high temperatures during the summer, Luz Marina planted guamos and nogales. Furthermore, she uses an African tent to dry the coffee beans.
Luz Marina sells her coffee exclusively to the cooperative of coffee growers because of the benefits she receives. She received support to obtain the African bed, the wet mill and the wastewater system. However, another reason for excusively selling to the cooperative is the lack of other private buyers in her region.
The sales as well as many other activities of the management of her farm are carefully documented in a booklet. She says: "I try to document everything because it is a good way to see what I have and what I am missing. If I did not do this, I would always forget. I sit down every Saturday afternoon and see everything I did the last week. This system has proved to be effective to me".
Blockchain was a technology that Luz Marina did not know before. However, after being explained how it works, she appreciated the possibility of knowing what happens with her coffee after it leaves her farm. She explains: "I would gladly welcome such initiative. It gives me joy and enthusiasm to be recognised in other parts of the world. I think it may also help us to get better prices, which is extremely important to coffee growers. Many of us will need help and support throughout the implementation, so I would appreciative to have trainings with other farmers where everyone can manifest their doubts and learn together".