Any trip to Colombia requires a stop into a Colombian Coffee Farm. There is nothing quite like connecting to the origin of something that you love; it makes anyone appreciate it even more. When you can see the painstaking steps that go into growing specialty coffee, and into coffee production, it becomes a labor of love. Of all the coffees of the world, Colombian coffee is so popular because the flavor is mild and well balanced, so it’s easy to drink any way you like, whether it’s flavored, blended or single origin. What also makes visiting a Colombian Coffee Farm so special is the local people refer to it as the business that is in their blood; it’s who they are.
Troy and I are spent the day with The Coffee Quest, a coffee exporter from Holland. We appreciate his philosophies on business. He shares it with us as we one of the farms in Salgar where he buys his specialty coffee. This farm also serves a higher purpose.
“ I have a few different philosophies,” said Ronald, the CEO of The Coffee Quest, “one of the most important ones is that I want to have a sustainable business, and that works for myself but especially for the people, the farmers that I work with, and sustainable in not just an environmental way, but also in a social way.
I find that when a producer, produces a good coffee and he puts his effort and passion into coffee production, he should be rewarded fairly for it. It should be a business for him that he can live off in a decent way. He can give his children an education that his children are also interested in continuing the business when they grow up”.
Our visit is to Finca De Paz in Salgar, is a farm 2 hours from Medellín in Colombia. Ronald says, “Luz Zoraida Restrepo is the owner of the Finca(farm). I have been buying her coffee for the first time. This is the first year she has owned the Finca and she has been producing coffeeAnd actually, what she just told me is she isn’t the actual owner her three daughters are the owners of this Finca. It’s a little of a family investment into a college fund.”
Manuela, the eldest daughter and 16 years old is asked about how she feels about owning a coffee farm. She says, “I am very proud because it is the pride of Colombia to have a coffee farm and coffee is the most beautiful thing in Colombia.”
Ronald asks Sara the second eldest daughter of 14 years: “What was it like your first time working on the farm?”
“Very tough, studying seems very relaxing compared to that. The coffee pickers are out in the sun all day in the heat; sweating, and it’s not like that at school.” Said Sara
The youngest daughter Isabella, who is seven years old, was asked if she likes to be an owner of a coffee farm. She was shy about her answer but replies, “Yes, because it is! “
Luisa, the girls mother, adds, “Thanks to God, this is a huge opportunity for my daughters. The farm can help us follow our dreams, and get ahead in life.”
The young girls have ambitions for their future:
Manuela: “I love medicine, and I like everything to do with hospitals but also everything related to coffee.”
Sara: “Pediatrics, because I am crazy about babies, I don’t know, it interests me.”
Ronald shares more about his business and says, “We call the company The coffee Quest because for us, it’s an adventure, we are here in the countryside of Colombia, we are always looking for new coffees and one of the most important things for us is not just buying the coffees is visiting the farms and knowing who is making this great coffee.
So, we get to visit all these regions in Colombia, which we would otherwise not be able to visit because they are very remote villages. So, it is the quest for the best coffees and the most interesting producers in the country.”
This Colombian coffee farm isn’t just a commodity here; it has intentions; to create a future for these girls.
For more about Coffee Quest coffee, you can find information here.
Troy is an ex-TV editor and producer originally from Canada. He quit his 20+ year career to pursue a life of long-term, slow and transformative travel. Now with his wife Dorene, he helps people who want to redefine their midlife by making conscious changes at TravelLifeExperiences. He also works with travel and hospitality brands to create and share their video stories at TravelLifeMedia.com