San Fernando is an organization of small farm coffee growers in the state of Chiapas, Southern Mexico that formed in 1984 with the goal of improving the living conditions of its members and their communities, through various social programs (see below for a break down on these), by supporting them to improve their farming practices and by trading their coffee under fair trade conditions.
San Fernando is made up of 1202 small-scale coffee producers living in 50 communities throughout the Chiapas. 40% of San Fernando’s membership is indigenous, from tzeltal, tzotzil, mam, and zoque peoples.
The average farm size is 2.5 hectares. Through a renovation program, tree density has increased to 3000 trees per hectare.
San Fernando has established a second warehouse, in Jaltenango, for coffee reception, which cuts down considerably the transportation time of coffee to warehouse for many of their members. As at their main warehouse in San Fernando, warehouse quality staff perform a basic sensory test at the moment that members deliver their coffee to determine if the coffee is to be accepted (or rejected).
San Fernando is smooth and full bodied, with notes like hazelnut, caramel and lemon zest.
-Location: Jaltenango de la Paz, Chiapas
-Farmers: 1202 small holder farmers
-Elevation: 1200 - 1400m
-Varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, Catuai
-Process: Washed, sun dried
-Harvest Period: December - April
-Certifications: Fair trade, Organic
-Roast Profile: Medium/Espresso
Ideal for all pressurized methods ie Espresso or Stovetop, or for filter methods such as Plunger.
Also suitable for all filter methods; Chemex, V60, Aeropress, Clever, Swiss Gold, Moccamaster, Cold Drip/Brew, if you prefer a darker more full bodied taste.
· A women’s program. A major cause of death within San Fernando’s indigenous communities is maternal mortality and San Fernando are paying for the training of women who will work as midwives within their local community.
· Accommodation for children of members who live in remote parts of Chiapas but who have been sent to study in Tuxtla Gutierrez or in San Fernando. While living at this accommodation these children are offered training to help them develop new skills, including carpentry (they have created a workshop).
· Financial support for housing repairs. Members can loan funds from San Fernando in order to make house improvements (paving floors, replacing roofs with more watertight materials etc).
· Financial services: San Fernando has a 51% share in ownership of two bank branches, one in San Fernando and one in Jaltenango. Producers are now paid into their individual bank accounts, rather than in cash, which helps them to avoid the risk of robbery (a long standing problem in Chiapas). Producers are said to now be better at managing their finances with the introduction of their personal bank accounts.