Due to complications within the Bolivian coffee industry, many of the smaller Bolivian farms we have worked with in the past are sadly no longer producing coffee. Whilst this has created some challenges for us, it has had a much more significant impact on our exporting partners Agricafe, who have been working with these growers for many years.
As a result, Agricafe have decided to begin farming for themselves, in an effort to demonstrate what can be achieved with the application of more modern techniques and a scientific farming approach.
Agricafe now manage seven farms, and these are collectively known as the Buena Vista project. Finca Don Carlos is the project's second farm, and it was planted in Caranavi in 2014.
The farm is named in honour of Carlos Mariaca, the oldest and most unconditionally awesome employee of Agricafe. He was there at the start of the specialty coffee trend and, together with Pedro, helped to build the wet mill in Caranavi. To show their gratitude for all his good work, the company decided to give him partnership of the farm.
This farm, along with the other Buena Vista project farms, is run by Pedro Pablo Rodriguez, son of Agricafe owner Pedro Rodriguez. Agricafe first bought their farms in 2012, when it became clear they were facing rapidly decreasing coffee production across the country. They have twelve farms in total, and this is one of eight in the Caranavi region (the traditional coffee producing area of Bolivia). Pedro Pablo studied agronomy in Honduras and brought techniques he had learnt there to the Buena Vista farms.
In 2016, farms surrounding Don Carlos suffered badly with leaf rust (also called Roya). This caused a substantial drop in production, but the farmers developed a strong program to combat the disease, and they can now use that on other farms when they're affected.