HARVEST - DECEMBER - MARCH Situated in the Sololá department of Guatemala, this coffee is named after Lake Atitlan. The lake itself is endorheic, meaning it does not drain into the ocean or sea, and is overlooked by three volcanoes, Atitlan, Tolimán and San Pedro. Although the full range of the cooperative covers altitudes of 1350 - 2000 metres above sea level, The majority is grown around 1700 MASL. Of the five volcanic coffee regions of Guatemala, Atitlán’s soil is said to be the richest in organic matter.
With the support of Anacafe (the national coffee association of Guatemala), a group of small producers set up their co-operative Cooperativa Agrícola Integral Atitlán “El Paraíso Tz’utujil” R.L. Since the formation, they have worked hard to offset what they see as their main challenges; Coffee plantation deterioration caused by the impact of diseases and pests brought about by climate change; Lack of adequate technical support; lack of investment; low prices; lack of transparency in their supply stream.
They have done this by grouping together producers as they know that smaller producers better value their plantations, Investing in rural education for small producers, investing in both agronomic and market research to develop those areas better, and marketing their coffee in fairer markets that recognise the efforts of their growers.