Farm Profile: San Juan

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Region: Antigua
Average altitude: 1600-1800 msnm
Farm size: 28 hectares
Wet mill: Bella Vista
Dry mill: Bella Vista
Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Villasarchí
Shade: Gravillea
Owners: Elizabeth Hegel de Figuera & Eduardo Figueroa
Managed by: Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora
Harvest season: December- April (Peak: last days of February and the beginning of March).
Flower Season: May
Annual rainfall: 952.50 mm

About Finca San Juan

Elizabeth de Figueroa and Eduardo Figueroa are the owners of Finca San Juan, which has been managed by Luis Pedro Zelaya Zamora since 2010. The harvested cherries are processed at Bella Vista (a wet and dry mill). As with all farms managed by Luis Pedro, renovations on parts of the farm allow for lot separation which provides the possibility of offering coffee with greater quality and transparency. Bella Vista keeps strict adherence to specific agricultural activities to ensure high production and quality. Cherries are hand-picked by people from around the area near the farm.

Once cherries are brought to Bella Vista wet mill, they go through the whole process of depulping, fermentation, washing and the drying. The coffee can also be sun-dried on patios or in the greenhouse. After some resting in the Bella Vista warehouses, parchment goes through dry milling and is then ready for export.

  

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.

San Juan in pdf

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