Week 2 represented our first week in San Salvador. It was a week full of meetings as we work to deepen our understanding of the domestic coffee sector. As you might imagine, it’s a complex industry. There are a lot of different players, each having different roles, incentives and perspectives.

This week we met with some of the leading coffee associations, cooperatives, exporters, banks and farmers.

Here we are learning about the different regions of coffee production in El Salvador. This is at the Consejo Salvadoreño del Cafe, an association that represents coffee farmers nationally.

Here we are visiting one of the larger cooperatives (a collection of farms, intended to create some economies of scale). You have to go into the mountains to visit coffee farms because the Arabica trees grow best at higher altitudes; in this case, about 1,200 meters, or 4,000 feet.

This picture was taken following meeting with a farmer (in green) who also runs a large export firm, Abecafe.

I continue to be amazed at how welcoming the people of El Salvador have been both in and out of work. And with respect to coffee, while each party has their own perspective, they all want to see the industry succeed. They have tremendous national pride and a keen awareness of the humanitarian impact the recent coffee crisis has had.

The Volunteer

John Cavalieri

Executive Vice President, Product Manager

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