Farm Profile: Potrero

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Farm: Potrero
Trademark(s): Potrero     
Region: Antigua    
Altitude (msnm): 1500   
Farm size (ha): 33.75     
Wet mill: Bella Vista
Dry mill: Bella Vista
Average Prod (46kg) green: 462
Coffee varieties: Caturra, Bourbon, Catuaí
Shade: Gravilea     
Owner: Carlos Olivero/Sarina Olivero
Farm Managed by: Luis Pedro Zelaya  
Harvest season: November – April
Annual Rainfall: 952.50mm

About Finca Potrero

Potrero is a farm with a lot of history. It has undergone many ownership changes throughout its past.  The original owner of the farm was Sara Arroyo Herrera de Olivero and she divided the farm equally amongst each of her four children. In 2011, Luis Pedro Zelaya took over agricultural management of two areas—Potrero 1 & 2. Coffee produced from these lots are now processed and milled at Bella Vista, Luis Pedro’s processing facility. The change in management of Potrero has significantly helped to improve the quality of the coffee produced at this farm. 

About Bella Vista & Zelcafé

Background

Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora (LPZZ) is the fourth generation in his family to be working in the coffee business. The Zelaya family’s first farm was Carmona, followed by Bella Vista, which where the wet, dry mill facilities, and Zelcafé staff offices were later built and are currently located.

For many years, the family’s business focus was on commercial coffee production and export but in 2000, LPZZ began developing and changing Zelcafé’s focus into specialty coffee/microlots, with the support of some early clients. Over time Zelcafé has been able to successfully transition the business into solely focusing on specialty coffee. For the Zelaya family, their coffee endeavours are not only about business; their aim is to provide a good basis for generations of their family and community to come. With this in mind, they are constantly looking for ways to provide jobs to as many families in their communities as possible, as well as supplying the best quality coffee they can to their clients.

Partnerships & Services

The family has worked with small producers in Antigua since they first started coffee farming. New relationships almost always come from introductions from families already working with the Zelaya family, ensuring close and stable partnerships. In addition to buying cherries from farms, Bella Vista also manages estate farms that owners don’t want to sell but don’t know how manage themselves.

The Bella Vista team take care of all the planning, execution and monitoring of the resources each farm they own or manage have: human, technical, financial, and knowledge/training. In the case of the small producers that they buy cherries from, the team not only buy cherries at a premium, they also provide technical assistance and the financing of inputs. Bella Vista is constantly looking to improve its agricultural activities to reduce chemicals to a minimum and in turn share their scientific knowledge with other farms.

Sustainability & the Future

Bella Vista continuously encourages its workers to get proper education and in special cases, finances education for some of them. The facility also often offers workshops on different topics. The Zelaya family farms all have C.A.F.E Practices implemented and in the coming years the family will try to implement a WaSH project at one of their biggest farms.

Other future plans include research on water treatment and the building of treatment plants and hopefully, the construction of another greenhouse.

Potrero in pdf

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