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Colombia Nariño La Union (Espresso 250 Grams)
FUDAM producer organisation
FUDAM (Fundacion Agraria y Ambiental) is a producer association based in and around the province of La Unión in Northern Nariño. The group was founded in 1999, formally legalized in 2000. The sister and brother team of Raquel and Jeremias Lasso run the organization. The Lasso family is from Buenos Aires de Cartago which borders the city of La Unión. 44 members from both Cartago and La Unión comprised the group’s membership in 2000. Nowadays, in 2017, the group has 130 members. Over the past 17 years, FUDAM has also grown into the surrounding reaches of San Lorenzo, Taminango, Arboleda, Belén and Genova. Now they have expanded into the deeper reaches of Tablón de Gomez, increasing their membership and parchment volume.
Traditionally coffees from these further reaches of Northern Nariño were collected by coyotes (intermediary buyers) and taken to Buesaco, which is the main hub for parchment trading in Northern Nariño. With cash in hand, these intermediaries were/are often able to purchase parchment coffees from these producers at levels much lower than what they should get for the quality. Red Fox and FUDAM create the necessary incentive for these producers to step away from these coyotes. The prices paid for these coffees of the Nariño selection range from 1.350.000 Colombian Pesos/Carga to 1.600.000 Colombia Pesos/Carga. To compare: standard market price in La Unión and Buesaco ranged from 750.000 to 870.000 CP/Carga in 2017.
Varieties and processing
Caturra continues to be the variety of choice in most of Northern Nariño, though Castillo also has a strong presence. Colombia still exists in certain pockets. Typica and Bourbon exist in the furthest reaches of the greater area. Processing methods follow the traditional smallholdeer fashion. Producers manually depulp their own cherries. Next, they ferment the coffee in small concrete or tiled tanks (sometimes plastic buckets). Nighttime temperatures plummet which equates to average fermentation times running 24-30 hours. They keep one tank or bucket available for washing. The drying method of choice is often parabolic beds, though covered patios also exist. Nariño typically harvests during the dry season. These weather conditions translate to averages of 8-16 days for parchment drying.
This regional producer selection is named after one of the two hubs of the FUDAM producer group. The second regional lot is the Cartago regional selection. This La Unión lot consists of part of the production from FUDAM’s members whose farms lie in the vicinity of the coffee town of La Unión. The growing altitude in this region ranges from 1500 to 2100 meters above sea level.