Hello Mule’ readers!
As part of our groundwork, we travel every year to a magical coffee land, the place where our coffees come from, Colombia! We call it “The Origin’s Trip” as it is where our story, and the story of many of those who work and collaborate with us, begins.
This year was a special one as we had the opportunity to reunite with Diofanor Ruiz. He is a living testament of what a true coffee farmer represents. Diofanor’s experience , knowledge about coffee and ancestral harvesting practices are a big hope for those who believe we can live in a world that cares for mother earth and worries for the survival of the ecosystems that occupy the beautiful and diverse territories around the world, including us humans.
The increasing threads to our climate and ecosystems make it very challenging for all of us who want to live in a better world and leave behind a sustainable place for future generations. Multi-nationals, Corporations and large Companies have a big responsibility and enormous challenges ahead. The constant pursuit of profits puts enormous pressure to the whole supply chain from the origins/producers of the raw resources, through the manufactures, to the distributors/sellers of the final products. Independent of the economic activity, we all know products require resources to make them, and is not a mystery that the production practices are designed to maximize the rate at what those resources are cultivated, grown and harvested impacting the micro and macro systems we lived in.
As a small business we, Mule Coffee Roasters (AKA Colombian Connection Coffee), decided from day one we wanted to focus in sustainable and ethical practices. During this journey we have been very lucky to meet the teams from Cofinet and Kogi Coffee. Through their extensive network of genuine coffee growers, we have been able to reach those who are sacrificing volume for quality, immediate margins for sustainability, growth at all cost for ethical business. In our most recent trip, Diofanor explained how impacting and important it has been for him to join the specialty coffee program. In the past he was forced or tempted to focus in big volumes not looking at the impact that it was going to have on the ecosystem, his farm and to his financial future. After only 3 years of joining the program he has transformed his crops. He has gone back to the ancestral practices of growing coffee, letting the native trees provide the shadows, nutrients and microbiological defences to feed and protect the coffee trees. He uses all the organic material that the diverse vegetation produces to run his farm. Wood for cooking; fruits to feed himself and his family; leaves, twigs and coffee pulp to produce “abono” an organic fertilizer that is commonly used to grow new trees or to feed all the existing ones. In a nutshell this is what sustainability means and is all about.
The end result of this transformation is quality over volume, it is employment and ethical distribution of the margins, it is a micro system in balance and a macro system also in balance. His crops are now scoring higher and higher and this is just the beginning. Just like Diofanor, we have met so many other farmers and communities that are heavily involved in this transformation.
Supporting all of them have become a rewarding experience (and we are no talking about money). Our hope for a better world is alive and becoming stronger. You are all big contributors of this transformation when you buy a cup of Mule coffee in one of the many coffee shops or weekend markets, our advocates and ambassadors. We are all together, farmers-roasters-baristas-café owners-consumers making a big impact when consuming responsible produces.
Thank you Diofanor!