Coffee Unites Colombian Community

Deep amidst the Colombian Andes lies the Perija mountain range, one of the remotest coffee-growing regions in the country. This area has 2014_Columbia Mountain Communitybeen hit hard by political violence starting more than 10 years ago. Displaced small-scale farmers lost everything when they fled their homes and paramilitaries moved in. Now, a permanent army battalion is stationed to give the farmers reassurance to be able to return home and start anew. Because coffee has been such an important source of income for the area, a project is helping more than 600 families in the area to help repair homes, replant fields and boost earnings in specialty coffee production. The project is funded and managed through the country’s Coffee Federation, the Douwe Egberts Foundation and the Dutch Embassy using a budget of almost 4 million Euros ($5.5 million USD). About half of the farmers participating in the project earn a premium for the coffee by meeting UTZ Certified requirements for sustainable farming.

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