Small and medium coffee producers were the big winners in the Oro de Santa Barbara competition, with several of them selling their coffee at a thousand dollars per quintal dry parchment.
For four days, 25 international judges of eleven nationalities tasted 60 lots of coffee that had pre-qualified to participate in the competition, choosing the ten best aromatics from the land of the reed.
The grain grown in San José Colinas, became the Oro de Santa Bárbara coffee, reached a rating of 90.97 from the Pacayalito farm, Los Naranjos village owned by producer Miguel Ángel Tábora.
The second place was obtained by the grain produced in the Las Flores village, by the coffee grower Balbina Sabillón, who achieved a score of 89.65%, while the third place fell on the Cacaulapa farm, located in the village La Alianza, in the municipality of San José de Colinas, owned by Merlyn Paz with 89.43%.
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But who took the best price and became the surprise of the competition was the sample of coffee maker Nery Rolando Muñoz Fernández, San Luis Planes, who despite having been in fourth place managed to get his grain to buy 15.25 dollars per pound.
It should be noted that the average purchase price per pound of dry parchment coffee in the national market is around 16 lempiras per pound and 1,600 lempiras per quintal.
Nery Muñoz became the leading producer of the competition by getting his grain auctioned at almost one thousand dollars per quintal, one thousand four hundred percent more than the normal market sale price.
The closing events of the event were headed by the designated Ricardo Álvarez, who stressed the importance of the small and medium producer selling their coffees directly, without intermediaries and at unthinkable prices for them.
“Who would have thought that a coffee farmer with less than an apple, disabled and about to go blind, has managed to get his grain to buy it at a thousand dollars a quintal, a thousand times more than its price in relation to the value of the local market, that’s what it’s about, to support people like Nery so that they have the necessary profitability to ensure a better life, “he said.
To reach the three finalists, the international tasters selected 10 coffees, among them, the grain that is harvested in the farms Guacamaya, El Milagro, La Bendición, Noriega, Las Flores, San Ramón and Buena Vista.
Oro Santa Barbara was promoted by the government through the presidential appointee Ricardo Álvarez, the mayor’s office through its owner, the lawyer Fátima Juárez, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Santa Bárbara, the Country Brand and the Secretariat of Economic Development, all under the vision that small and medium producers could compete directly and obtain better prices for the grain.
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The international tasters participating in the competition came from different countries, including Germany, Canada, Japan, China, Holland, Russia, Korea, Singapore, the United States and Bulgaria, all of whom were summoned by the well-known judges Sherri Jhons and Ez Yon, who since early April they were in Santa Bárbara to pre-select the aromatic they tasted in the competition.
During their stay in Santa Barbara land, the tasters visited different farms where they could roast coffee in an artisanal way and verify the production process in situ.
After choosing the first three places of the competition, all the coffees participated in the auction and according to the quality of the grain, they achieved prices between 6 and 15 dollars per pound.
“That was the idea, that the small producer could sell without intermediaries since these remain with the highest percentage and producers end up losing, they are the ones who have made a large investment in their farms to achieve a successful production,” he said. the presidential designee.
It is noteworthy that it is the first time in the history of Honduran coffee that 25 judges of eleven nationalities come to the country to choose and buy the best coffee in a department.
“The judges have assured me that next year they will participate again in Oro de Santa Bárbara and that they are willing to replicate this experience in other departments of the country” concluded Álvarez.
The department of Santa Barbara registers about 16 thousand coffee growers, those who harvest ten percent of the national production, about one million bags among the municipalities with the highest production are, Atima, San Nicolás, Colinas and also the Santa Bárbara mountain.
During the harvest period, the coffee sector generates one million direct and indirect jobs, represents the second source of foreign currency, after remittances, it benefits about 20% of the Honduran population that directly or indirectly depends on the crop.