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149. San Antonio – Breaking with tradition

The San Antonio cooperative is located in amid the peaks of the Cordillera del Bálsamo, high in the mountains above San Salvador.  For more than 30 years, it has had a tradition of producing high-quality shade-grown coffee.  This year, the organization produced 12 containers of quality varietals: Borbon, Catuaí, Pacas and Pacamaras.  Producing high-quality coffee is nothing new for the cooperative.  What’s new in San Antonio is a determination to break with a long tradition of selling coffee in unprocessed cherry form, and to begin selling directly to specialty coffee buyers in the United States.

Over the past year, San Antonio has made new investments in renovation to keep its coffee fields productive.  It built post-harvest infrastructure and processed its own coffee for the first time in its history.  It is beginning the organic and Fair Trade certification processes.  And this year the cooperative is beginning its search for trading partners who can help begin a new tradition in specialty coffee in San Antonio.

Don Santos manages San Antonio's nurseries, where 40,000 new plants are awaiting the first rains to be transplanted to San Antonio's farm.

Name: San Antonio

Established: 1980

Members: 57

Location: Comasagua, La Libertad

Elevation: 950-1300 m

Volume: 3,286 sacks (69 kg)

Certifications: none

Contact: Julio Gutiérrez, President, ++503-7752-9915

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