- Husband and wife team Matilde Martínez and Irma Recinos increased the productivity of their farm and their income, thanks to training provided by the MOCCA program and ofi.
- Selling coffee through ofi’s Olam Direct platform allows coffee farmers to access better markets and shorten the marketing process by creating a direct relationship with the buyer.
Matilde Martinez, 65, and his wife Irma Recinos, are a coffee-growing couple from La Libertad, Huehuetenango, a municipality located more than 275 kilometers from Guatemala’s capital city. According to Guatemala’s Planning General Secretariat (SEGEPLAN), more than 35% of La Libertad’s territory is made up of coffee plantations.
However, despite the region’s high potential for coffee production, the lack of technical assistance and few opportunities to access better markets prevent coffee growers in La Libertad from increasing the profitability of their farms.
In the 1980s, due to unemployment and no opportunities, Martinez was forced to emigrate to Mexico in order to support his family economically. Upon his return to Guatemala, he acquired a small plot of land to start planting coffee.
“I have been a coffee producer for 38 years and one of the biggest problems I have faced is pests and diseases such as the coffee berry borer and rust, which in the past destroyed my coffee plantation,” recalls Matilde Martinez.
Aware of this problem, MOCCA, in alliance with olam food ingredients (ofi) and Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), provide technical training to more than 4,900 coffee producers in Huehuetenango, 51% of whom are women.
MOCCA is a 7-year initiative funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Food for Progress Program, which seeks to improve agricultural productivity and expand trade in agricultural products. The MOCCA project is being executed by a consortium led by TechnoServe.
The training modules are delivered in person and remotely by a team of specialized technicians who support coffee growers at all stages of the coffee production cycle, with the objective of helping them to increase the productivity and profitability of their farms.
“The yields of my coffee farm increased by 40% thanks to the tissue management techniques I learned in the training sessions offered by MOCCA and ofi. In addition, I had higher earnings the last harvest as I sold 70 quintals of parchment coffee through the Olam Direct platform. I invested profits in the farm and in home improvements”.Matilde Martínez
La Libertad, Huehuetenango
How does Olam Direct work?
Olam Direct is a business model that aims at changing the traditional marketing scheme, which includes multiple intermediaries; this reduces the income of producers and the quality of the coffee. Instead, through an application that works 24 hours a day, coffee growers can sell their coffee with just a few clicks. The grower registered with Olam Direct receives a daily text message with the coffee market price of the day to make a better decision on when to sell it.
Once the coffee lot is delivered, it will go through a quality inspection process to determine the final price. Payment is transparent and commensurate with the quality of the coffee. In addition, with this model the producer is eligible for a certification premium. Payments are guaranteed immediately.
ofi: olam food ingredients (ofi) offers sustainable, natural and value-added food products and ingredients so that consumers can enjoy the healthy and pleasurable products they love. It consists of the industry’s leading cocoa, coffee, edible nuts, spices and dairy businesses.
To date, the Olam Direct application has registered and benefited more than 90,000 farmers in 12 countries, providing them with new direct marketing opportunities and fair prices that impact their profits and quality of life. olam food ingredients (ofi) Guatemala has been in the country for 12 years. During the last harvest it was recognized as the second largest coffee exporter in Guatemala. Olam Direct has 184 community leaders (Farmer Leaders) from Guatemala, who have been identified as leading coffee growers in the community and who are provided with interest-free financing for a period of 5 months so that they can purchase coffee on the farm or at the small farmer’s home and make immediate payment.