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Nasa Traditions, Culture, Ag techniques etc.

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Sweetwater Organic Coffee & Cafe Campesino visit with Fondo Paez Coperative Members - Cauca,Colombia

After arriving late Saturday night at "La Placa" - the Fondo Paez cooperative's main office and lodge for hosting visitors up in the beautiful mountains of the Cordillera Central of Colombia - the delegation woke up Sunday morning to heavy rain and chilly weather. Thanks to our good friends at Fondo, fresh eggs, arepas and super-fresh hot Fondo Paez coffee, we had no trouble getting busy.  

Here's a quick run down with photos to share the past two days with everyone. We head out bright and early tomorrow to meet with another Fondo Paez community, so stay tuned for more photos and updates!


Sunday - February 26, 2017

  Meeting with president of coop in Cauca Colombia

Preliminary meetings with Yuridia Pillimue, the new President of Fondo Paez - the first woman president in the history of the coop!

Fertilizer Workshop in Cauca Colombia

Organic fertilizer workshop with Gildardo Vitonco Martinez, our wonderful host at La Placa and coordinator of the coop's relatively new organic fertilizer program and "bio-fabrica" (bio-factory). The folks at Fondo Paez named the operation Bio-fabrica as it producing products that they know give them life.  


Coffee Cupping in Cauca Colombia

Cupping with the Fondo Paez cupping team at La Placa in the coop's new cupping lab. The coop's cupping team is: Hernan Dario Vitonco, Heriberto Daqua Medina, Cesar Pillimue, and Luis Eduardo Daqua Rivera.  These four were selected from a pool of 30 applicants. They do not receive payment for their services, though we are working on how Sweetwater can help support the development of their cupping program and, in particular, help the four team members cover their costs, including the 1-1.5 hour journey three of them they have to make to get to the coop's cupping lab in the mountains.

Monday - February 27, 2017

  Nasa Primary School in Colombia

After about an hour on the half journey by truck, we finally reached the path to take us to make our first community visit, setting out on a winding, steep, intense 1.25 mile hike to visit with the coop's La Nueva Colonia community (22 members). On the way, the delegation stopped at the community's primary school with 25 lil' students full of energy and fascination. This school, IE Kwes X Piya Yat - Sede La Nueva Colonia (which means place for education of the Nasa - the name of the indigenous people of Fondo Paez), is actually a member of the coop. They use the on-site coffee farm to teach the children the value of organics and treating the environment with respect. The teacher - Lorena Osnas - handles the whole herd of little ones on her own and we take our hats off to her for her pure dedication and stamina! And if anyone is interested in teaching English for a little while let us know:).


Meeting with La Nueva Colonia in Jambalo Medio Colombia

Meeting with members of La Nueva Colonia in Jambalo Medio - one of the cooperative's 36 communities. This meeting lasted 2 hours and allowed the delegation and community to get to know each other, ask each other questions, and discuss the value and importance of our relationship.


After our meeting with them, the community members took the delegation up into their shared community coffee farm, where they receive training from the cooperative's coffee "technicos" on how to use organic fertilizers and pest control, employ organic cultivation techniques and stay, on top of their quality. The members all have their own farms, but this shared farm offers them an opportunity to not only learn and improve their techniques but also supplement their income with additional coffee production. Pictured here are: Fredy Andres Dagua Rivera (left), the technical advisor and trainer for the families in the Jambalo Medio zone and Octavio Campo Quiganos, a long-term member of Fondo Paez.

Florida Organic Growers Special Blends

THE ORGANIC TRAIL - FROM FLORIDA TO THE COFFEE LANDS - Imagine a world free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides! Double... maybe even triple whammy! Sweetwater Organic Coffee & Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, Inc. (FOG) have partnered to share in our commitment to organic and sustainable agriculture through healthy farming options and just food systems.  This [...]

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Sweetwater Organic Coffee Participates in the 12th Taipei International Vegetarian & Organic Food Festival 2016!

Ti En, Tripp & Luciana Day 1 at Festival Sweetwater Organic Coffee was represented by our wonderful partners in Taiwan last weekend as part [...]

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Coffee College

In order to better serve our customers, and thereby our farmers, a few of us here at Sweetwater have embarked on a path of higher education in the coffee industry. Coffee college, so to speak.The curriculum is called "Pathways," and it's sanctioned and organized by the SCAA. There are four "major" options, each leading to an official SCAA certification, which is [...]

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Sweetwater Organic Coffee participates in the Taiwan International Tea, Coffee & Wine Expo 2015!

That’s right… Taiwan! Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to travel to Taipei to work with our distributor and his outstanding team of Sweetwater fair trade organic coffee aficionados there to introduce our coffee and business model to the Taiwanese coffee market, which is by all measures quite advanced and unyielding in its demand for quality [...]

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Fest 14 Wrap-Up

On behalf of everyone at Sweetwater and our hard working trading partners throughout the world's coffee lands, we want to thank everyone who made this year's Fest such a blast! For those who don't know what Fest is... it is an iconic three-day punk rock music festival right here in downtown Gainesville which has [...]

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Welcome to the NEW Sweetwater Organic Coffee Store!

We welcome all new and returning users from our previous store and are excited to share some new features! Some new features: A built in Blog for all the latest news and information. Expanded Producer Partner Pages. More information about Sweetwater Organic Coffee, it's purpose and values. The new store uses the latest technology to provide: A search engine with "Did [...]

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Curia on the Drag

The long awaited coffee shop Curia on the Drag marked the first day of full-on operation today  on NW 6th St. here in Gainesville. The shop is nestled along the perimeter of Gallery Protocol, a lovely well-kept artist commune and gallery space. The shop is also proximal to Ward's Supermarket, Bikes & More, and Cecile's Consignment. I had [...]

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Union Street Farmers Market

This guy will be at the new location for the Union Street Farmers Market. He's such a coffee guy, he can't even take off his backpack before he's pulling a soy cappuccino... Iced Deep Roots makes an appearance today, great to beat the heat....

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