High up in the Luya district of Amazonas, a densely forested region growing some truly exceptional coffee, Ocumal cooperative (Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Ocumal) is home to 150 members as of 2019. Founded in 2016 and run by current president Faimer Villar Muñoz and general manager Pepe Luis Huaman Reynoso, Ocumal started with the goal of working organizationally to improve quality and access financially sustainable markets to help the community thrive. 2019 was our first year buying coffee from them, and although the volume we purchased was modest, quality was outstanding.
The cooperative offers dynamic support to its partners, including training and technical assistance in the production of organic coffees, training in harvest and post-harvest best practices, training in Fair Trade criteria, management of production projects, collection, and even marketing services. Until 2014, the predominant varieties cultivated in the area were Typica and Caturra. After that, farmers began to plant more rust-resistant varieties like Catimor, Bourbón, Villa Sarchi, Catuai, and Castillo, among others.