As part of our commitment to keeping you informed, we're excited to share insights on the current state of the harvest in Colombia, the first of our three-part series covering the origins we work with. Colombia – Honduras – Peru
Producer Luis Nuñez in the San Pedro district (Ciénaga)
1. State of the Harvest:
In Colombia, the coffee year spans from October 1st to September 30th, guiding the harvest and production timelines. Over the last three years, heavy rainfall associated with the "La Niña" phenomenon has led to a 9.1% decrease in the 2022-2023 coffee harvest. However, the 2023-2024 season initially showed a promising 25% increase in October to December compared to the previous year. Yet, by November 2023, a 3.3% decrease in the 12-month accumulated production was observed.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region faced challenges for the 2023-2024 harvest due to the transition from La Niña to El Niño, resulting in a 40% decrease in production. Environmental conditions, including increased temperature, contributed to flower and fruit loss, impacting both quantity and quality.
2. Coffee Quality:
The quality of coffee in the current year has been directly impacted by the coffee berry borer*, exacerbated by a temperature increase linked to the onset of the El Niño phenomenon in May 2023. The region has experienced a decline in coffee quality, measured by the yield factor, dropping from 83-84 in 2022 to 89-93 in 2023.
The yield factor in Colombia, a key component in determining the pricing of Colombian coffees, is calculated differently compared to other coffee origins. Here’s an article from Tropiq explaining the Colombia yield factor.
Alejandro Angulo giving a formation concerning agroforestry and carbon projects.
3. What Are We Working On?
RioSierra is actively promoting Agroforestry Systems, specifically Flavor and Aroma Forests (SAF BOSAR), to create resilient production systems in the face of climate change. These systems provide microclimates for coffee crops, along with benefits in soil fertility, conservation, nutrition, and plant protection. Technical assistance, training, and support on organic soil fertilization, soil conservation, climate change, and pest management are integral parts of RioSierra's efforts.
Daniel Castro, a member of the Red Ecolsierra producer network, receiving 35 bags of Fertisierra Growth fertilizer.
Climate change has significantly impacted Colombia, with frequent occurrences of El Niño and La Niña phenomena. The back-to-back nature of these events has disrupted the coffee crop, affecting production. Shifts in dry and rainy seasons have accelerated climatic conditions, impacting flowering and various development phases of the coffee crop.
As we delve into the intricacies of Colombia's coffee landscape, it's evident that the industry grapples with the complex dance of climatic phenomena and environmental shifts. Despite challenges, the dedication of coffee producers, coupled with RioSierra's proactive initiatives, paints a picture of resilience and adaptability in the face of change. We'll continue this journey through Honduras and Peru, sharing in-depth insights from each origin.
Stay tuned for our next newsletters covering Honduras and Peru!
* The coffee berry borer, called broca in Spanish, is a bark beetle endemic to Central Africa that is now distributed throughout all coffee-producing countries in the world, with the exception of Nepal and Papua New Guinea. – University of Hawai’i
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