FINCA VERACRUZ COLOMBIA
Finca Veracruz, Santa Barbara Estate
Extended fermentation, washed
Santa Barbara Estate is composed of 5 sister farms that lie across three neighbouring, geographical regions – Santa Barbara, Fredonia and Amagá. Each Veracruz lot is comprised of between 3 to 5 days’ picking. Each day, pulped beans are added to a fermentation tank with the previous days’ pickings. In this method of ‘extended’ fermentation, each consecutive batch raises the ph level (i.e. makes more alkaline) of the fermentation tank, permitting longer fermentation times that will produce a fruit-forward cup but without the acetic acid produced by bacteria at a low ph. Interestingly, the inspiration for the process was taken from small farmers throughout Antioquia and Huila, who often have two or three day fermentation as their farms are so small that one day’s picking is often not sufficient to make up an entire lot.
Santa Bárbara Estate employs 60 people all year round, who on average earn 30% above the minimum wage. Half of these also receive free housing within the farm for themselves and their families. A further 1,200 pickers are hired during the main harvest, comprised mainly of farmers from around the Santa Bárbara Estate who pick coffee to supplement their income. Workers are generally long-term employees and have been with the company for more than 10 years.
The Santa Bárbara Estate also runs an extensive scholarship and financial aid program for worker’s children as well as helping long-standing employees to acquire their own piece of land upon retirement.
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