On his land located in Vereda La Cristalina, in Planadas, south of Tolima, Mr Jairo Lopez has run his Finca Villa Coffee for over 20 years. Tolima is the third coffee-producing region of Colombia, accounting for 12% of its annual production. With the Andes on the West and the Magdalena basin in the East, Tolima offers the perfect topography and geography for coffee cultivation. With great love and careful practice, Mr Lopez takes care of approximately 4,500 Arabica trees year in and year out. His excellence was recognized with a star in the “Siembra y Cosecha” awards, which recognize great performance in sowing and harvesting, coffee cultivation and quality management. Mr Lopez has joined the AsotBilbao Cooperative, Asociación de Tecnólogos y Productores Agropecuarios de Bilbao. After finishing their studies in Agricultural Business Administration, a group of 35 youngs from Bilbao in the municaplity of Planadas, sought to improve the economic situation of their hometown and improve the quality of life. They joined forces and created the association, which now employs nine technicians and groups 81 farmers.
AsotBilbao focuses on the main crop of the area, coffee, without leaving aside the other regional crops like panela, avocado or the livestock activity. The association supports its members with good agricultural practice trainings, marketing and certification, and encourages a sustainable production Our Finca Villa Coffee lot is naturally processed. After being handpicked, the cherries are sorted to select only the mature ones and left to ferment for 36 hours, before being laid on drying beds, where they dry for another 28 days on average.