Last week, amid a complex and jarring power shift in Peru, mass protests added fear, complexity, and unknown expense to coffee collection and logistics, especially for growers and association leaders in the remote smallholder communities in which we work, particularly Cusco. After a coup attempt by now-removed president Pedro Castillo, Peru’s government declared a state of emergency suspending rights of assembly and freedom of transit for 30 days to curb widespread protests.
Peru season is in full swing and our Peru team is fully enmeshed in the developing situation, both as humans and as workers. We talked to members of the team to see what they’re experiencing and how operations are affected. Fortunately, whereas just last week roads all through Cusco were closed, limiting freedom of movement and blocking coffee transport, most roads are now open and coffee is moving again.
Agility, Communication Remain Key
“We are in constant communication with the cooperatives and associations, paying close attention to the news and ready to adjust,” says exportation coordinator Karen Pisconte.
Last week, Peru sourcing and impact coordinator Sherezade Chipana Alayo experienced airport closures firsthand as well as connecting with Southern Peru-based cooperative leaders like Jaen-based Rio Blanco leader Ismael Alarcon who couldn’t get coffee to Piura and Puno sourcing partner Silvia Palero who got stuck in Juliaca trying to access the bank in time.
“We hope to maintain a bit of stability and calm,” says quality assurance manager Carina Barreda.
Either way, the team is on top of it and we will keep you in the loop.
We’ll keep you posted in a few weeks with our Q1 Origin & Shipping Update, so stay tuned.
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