19th
May
2014

Posted in Kafevend Blog

Located on the west coast of South America, Peru is the site of one of the six locations in the ancient world where civilization originated. The Norte Chico or Caral-Supe civilization flourished between the 30th and 18th centuries B.C.E. and was contemporary with the building of the Ancient Egyptian pyramids. Coffee was first introduced to the Americas in the early 18th century by the Dutch to the colony of Surinam and by the Frenchman Gabriel de Clieu, who brought coffee seedlings to Martinique. The crop spread throughout the Caribbean and the Americas over the following years and made its way to Peru by the end of the century.

Coffee took well to the Peruvian highlands and now grows throughout the country in several regions to the north and south. Arabica coffee is grown by tens of thousands of smallholders with farms averaging at around two to three hectares. The coffee grown there is a popular choice for organically grown coffee lovers, as it is primarily shade grown and processed in a manner that conserves water. Until recently, farmers had a difficult time securing good prices for their crops.  However, the rise of groups like International Fair Trade has led to the formation of several farmers' cooperatives. This has led to better prices and training for members, along with infrastrucural developments in areas like processing and exporting. Coffee is now one of Peru's main agricutural crops, which shows when you consider it was the 6th largest coffee producer in the world in 2011.

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