Café Paz is the result of a carefully weaved network of relationships between PASO Colombia, communities of coffee farmers affected by violence, their cooperatives and associations, the National Federation of Coffee Growers, manufacturers, and international traders, to welcome ex-combatants as apprentices and workers in the production of premium coffee, and to finance projects that support the reincorporation process while contributing to improve the overall quality of life in regions affected by the armed conflict.
Among the factors that are key to the success of the Colombian peace process are the provision of sustainable economic opportunities for ex-combatants, as well as improved quality of life for people in rural areas who suffered from armed conflict. Café Paz aims to support sustainable peace for ex-combatants and for Colombian coffee growing communities through a four-stage process:
- Stage 1 | Bring Café Paz to Market: Participating coffee growers from conflict-affected regions are supported with above-market prices and direct fair trade. Profits from sales are used to create a Café Paz fund, which finances reincorporation projects and improves local coffee infrastructures.
- Stage 2 | Employment and Apprenticeship: Ex-combatants learn to grow coffee by working with participating coffee growers, building relationships and healing historical wounds.
- Stage 3 | New Beginnings: Eligible ex-combatants who have mastered the art and science of coffee growing have the opportunity to become small-farm owners themselves, producing their own coffee as part of a growing community.
- Stage 4 | Expand Cooperativism: Associations and cooperatives continue to be powerful tools for community building, diminishing reincidence and creating sustainable peace.
Coffee and Coffee Growers
Over 500 coffee-growing families affected by armed conflict have expressed a willingness to welcome ex-combatants to their farms, teach them their craft, and provide jobs.
The privileged coffee growing conditions provided by the mountainous regions of North Cauca and Paramillo, near zones where ex-combatants are living and reincorporating back into civilian life, provide premium quality coffees suitable for the most demanding international markets.
Farmers from the mountains of Cauca resisted violence from all sides of the conflict while making efforts to keep their youth away from illegal crops.
Cup profile: Sweet, citrous, floral, fruity, chocolatey with a bright citrous undertone, and hints of green apple. A creamy and juicy body.
Variety: Tabí, Caturra, Castillo
Altitude: 1,100 – 2,100 m.a.s.l
Municipalities: Corinto, Toribio, Santander de Quilichao, Jámbalo, Miranda, Buenos Aires, Suárez.
Farmers from the mountains surrounding the Natural Reserve of Paramillo, Antioquia, who returned to their lands after having been displaced by violence.
Cup profile: Soft, citrous, honey sweet, chocolatey coffee. A creamy expressive, delicate cup with a prolonged residual taste.
Variety: Caturra, Castillo
Altitude: 1,600 - 1,900 m.a.s.l.
Videos Coming Soon
As part of the project, PASO Colombia is currently working with these communities in the production of audiovisual material telling their stories and their commitment to peace building through coffee production.
Café Paz is possible thanks to a growing network of partners that include:
- The National Federation of Coffee Growers
- The Cooperative of Coffee Growers of North Cauca (CAFINORTE)
- The Cooperative of Coffee Growers from the West of Antioquia (COOPEOCCIDENTE)
- 16 associations of coffee growers in Cauca and Antioquia.