Sustainable coffee farming for high value for poor small-scale producers

Proyecto Cafés Especiales en Lamas

Sustainable Productive Ecosystems for Competitiveness in Separate High Value Markets (Coffee, Lamas Province) IA25000121PER

Date: February 2008 - January 2011


To build a replicable model demonstrating that small-scale coffee farming can be developed without deprecating the Amazon forest, gaining access to different high-value markets and obtaining higher prices than in conventional markets.

The project intends to take advantage of the farms in the so-called "cloud forests", the most bio-diverse ecosystem on the planet, and also one of the most fragile. The richness of this mountain environment has an influence on the organoleptic characteristics of the coffee production (taste, texture, smell and colour); therefore it has the potential to be considered amongst the best in the world market.

The project is being implemented by Practical Action through its regional office in San Martin, Peru, in partnership with Volens and Capirona.

The project will develop the farmers' capacity to produce high quality coffee and establish links with different high value markets, in order to increase their income in a sustainable manner. The project will create a new paradigm: farmers will be encouraged to consider the forest as their most valuable resource, the source of their productivity, quality and lower costs.


The project area is situated in the Alonso de Alvarado district of the Lamas province in the department of San Martin.

The project will work directly with 600 coffee farmers (250 of them are members of the Oro Verde cooperative), and indirectly with a further 1,200 farmers. By the end of the project more than 1,800 coffee farmers will have been involved, most of whom are migrants from Andean highland regions, whose only source of income is coffee.

Expected results

  • Small organised coffee farmers leading the cloud forest management system in the Alao river basin
  • Coffee farmers have appropriated the new technology for obtaining high quality coffee
  • Coffee farmers successfully market their high quality coffee in different high value markets
  • Coffee farmers' organisations with improved management units
  • Value chain improved as a result of the active collaboration between its members to obtain value-added products
  • Local governments aware of and supporting the project's experiences in order to establish policies for the production of special coffees

Download project bulletin: Sustainable Coffee in the Cloud forests

Other project work in the "cloud forests"

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