LWR Farmers Market Coffee is a new line of coffee sourced directly from farmers participating in Lutheran World Relief projects. Every delicious cup helps transform poor communities that depend on their coffee crop to feed their families. Farmers are given a stable, predictable, and higher price upfront for their beans. With LWR Farmers Market Coffee, farmers aren’t just suppliers of coffee beans, they are partners in the coffee business.
Before Abelino got up to speak to us about his coffee, he made the sign of the cross on himself. What he was about to share was sacred to him.
“Coffee is a noble crop,” he told our staff. “Because it is in high demand and it is difficult to raise.”
Indeed, growing coffee has not been easy for Abelino, or any of the other farmers in his cooperative, SOPPEXCCA, in Nicaragua.
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He’s lived in his community for 27 years and remembers that in the past it was much easier to grow coffee than it is now. There weren’t as many plant diseases, he explains, and the weather was more stable. These days, it can be hard for farmers like him to make a living with coffee without the proper knowledge. “Our coffee plantation was one of the best, but today its very difficult,” he says.
But that’s been changing, thanks to people like you who make it possible for Lutheran World Relief to work with SOPPEXCCA to improve farmers’ crops and income. With training, Abelino and other farmers have learned how to start coffee tree seedlings in nurseries, to properly prune and maintain trees, and even how to control pests without using chemicals.
Abelino takes almost as much pride in his coffee as he does his family. He has six children — four sons and two daughters – and grandchildren, all of whom have benefited from his coffee farming efforts. Some of his family works with him in the coffee industry. His wife works in the house and on the farm, and one of his daughters works in coffee quality control for the cooperative, a job she takes seriously as evidenced by her visible disdain for her father’s preferred coffee preparation — watery, not very strong.
Even his teenage grandson, Jordan, has found an important role, manning the weather station located on the farm. Each day at 6 a.m. he visits the weather station to record the temperature and gather other information that he sends through an app on his smartphone to be analyzed. This data helps farmers understand weather patterns, and make good business decisions about their coffee crops. The pride Abelino feels in his grandson shines in his eyes as the young man gives a tour of the weather station.
A man of great faith, Abelino says God is his best friend and provider. And he truly believes that growing good quality coffee is his way of contributing to the world. As he speaks, you get the sense that coffee is more than a livelihood to him — it’s a ministry.
“If Jesus Christ gave himself for us we should follow that example,” he says. “I share this value with my children.”
Taste the care and hard work Abelino, and the farmers of SOPPEXCCA, put into every coffee bean included in LWR Farmers Market Coffee.