For the past five years, our Festa Holiday Blend has been a mainstay of holiday offerings here at Nossa Familia Coffee. Not only does it represent the best tasting and quality coffee that we have to offer, it also gives back to communities doing the hard work of producing coffee.
We are happy to announce that Festa is back for 2020 & better than ever!
This year’s blend includes beans from our family farms in Brazil as well as our partner producers at Finca San Jose de las Nubes in Nicaragua, and the Next Generation of Young Farmers in Guatemala. It’s a festive, medium-dark roast blend with notes of roasted walnuts, dark chocolate, cinnamon and clove. It’s also a coffee that gives back: 50 cents of every bag sold will support the future of coffee farming through the De la Gente Young Farmers Fund.
About the Giveback: De la Gente Young Farmers Fund
For the second year in a row, we have chosen the De la Gente Young Farmers Fund as our Festa donation recipient. This fund currently benefits the Next Generation of Young Farmers, or La Segunda Generación de Café Entre Volcanes, a youth group of coffee producers from San Miguel Escobar region located near Antigua, Guatemala. The group includes 16 young men and women who are interested in keeping the local coffee industry thriving by pursuing careers and passions in coffee, often following in their parents’ and grandparents’ footsteps. Many of these young farmers own little or no farming land at all, mostly working on land owned by their parents.
The De la Gente Young Farmers Fund was inaugurated to provide these motivated young people with access to financing so they can grow their businesses and support their families. Managed by De la Gente, a nonprofit social enterprise which works to support economic opportunities for smallholder coffee farmers in Guatemala, the fund will be used to administer low-interest loans specifically for the members of the Young Farmers group to purchase land and equipment, provide training, technical assistance, and other coffee-focused projects. The young farmers also have a dream of opening their very own shop in Antigua, Guatemala some day, and hope to use the loan funds to seed this project.
Earlier this year, a few of our Nossa staff had the opportunity to share an evening out in Antigua with most of the young farmers. We brought their beans with us that had been roasted in Portland, and took over a small coffee shop so the farmers could have an opportunity to taste their own coffee as espresso for the first time. We sat down to share a meal, and swapped stories about work at Nossa Familia and in the coffee fields around Antigua. Many of the youth are pursuing education and work outside of coffee, but have a passion and interest in carrying on what is often their family’s legacy of working in coffee. We learned more about their dream to open their own coffee shop in Antigua, and they asked eager questions of our baristas and managers about roasting and brewing coffee, and running a successful coffee shop.
2020 Updates from the Young Farmers
Due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, which has been an especially difficult time for Guatemalans, the youth group has put their dream of opening a coffee shop on hold for now. Having the Young Farmer fund in place with De la Gente has been a huge blessing for the members of this group, especially over this past year. Each group member was able to receive an interest-free $400 loan from De la Gente to help them out with harvest expenses and emergency family needs. Traditional loans at local Guatemalan banks can be difficult to get and also very expensive, carrying up to 30% interest. Most of the youth have already paid back their loans, and due to its success, the organization is considering offering this small harvest loan on an annual basis. The young farmers have also requested to invest some of the money from the fund to pay for courses and workshops. They are starting their first course in November on roasting. They would also like to have more courses in 2021 about cupping, brewing methods, and coffee commercialization.