Honduran Coffee: a source of inspiration
In today’s global world, there seems to be little space for small third world countries to excel. A lot of hard work and team work is needed to achieve success. This is why Honduran coffee is a true source of inspiration. Coffee has slowly, but surely become a major export of Honduras. The Honduran coffee beans are sought after because of their consistent high quality. Best of all, this success story does not belong to a big international company doing business in Honduras. For that matter, it does not even belong to a large Honduran corporation that grows coffee for export with success. Credit belongs to thousands, tens of thousands of small land owners that grow coffee in almost every corner of Honduras. Honduras has over 110 thousand small coffee growers are registered!
Honduran Coffee, the result of teamwork!
And as I said, there is a lot of teamwork involved. The Government entity that promotes and controls coffee is IHCAFE. This stands for Instituto Hondureno del Cafe and they have done an outstanding job. Different associations of coffee growers have also provided outstanding leadership. Supported small coffee growers around Honduras is an important part of this success story.
Coffee is a labor intense activity. All the fertilizing, pruning, and harvesting are hand done. During the coffee picking season, there is a high demand of workers. During this time of the year Honduras issues work permits for citizens of Nicaragua and El Salvador. Many take advantage and come to work in Honduras picking coffee. 12.5% of the total Honduran population works in the coffee fields during the coffee picking season. This occurs between November and February every year. The season coincides with the school calendar vacation period. This allows many young kids to work during this time of the year. Up to 1 million workers engage in the coffee picking and production activities at this time!
Ihcafe Leadership has been outstanding to promote Honduran Coffee
By 2011 Honduras had surpassed Guatemala as the biggest Central American Coffee Producer. In 2012 Honduras Coffee had placed Honduras as the second largest washed Arabica Coffee exporter in the World. Today, Honduras is one of the top producers of coffee in the World. Only after much larger countries, such as Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. This year, Honduran coffee obtained the highest bid at an international coffee biding event. Yes, Honduran Coffee is putting Honduras on the map!
IHCAFE and the local associations have worked hard to produce a quality coffee. Today, there are two origin brands that belong to Honduras. Coffee that you buy that has the seal of either brand insures an export quality product.
Honduran Coffee has Two Denominations of Origin Brands that Certify the Origin of Coffee
The Instituto Hondureño del Café is the government entity in charge of coffee. They are in charge of supervising the production, and quality of Honduran coffee. They are also in charge of marketing Honduran coffee to the World. Thanks to its leadership, the first denomination of Origin brand in of Central America was established in Honduras. “Café Marcala” is a certifies the origin of coffee. Cafe de Marcala is grown in one of 19 municipalities located in Central Honduras. These municipalities are within three different departments in Honduras, La Paz, Intibuca and Comayagua.
There is now a second Honduran denomination of origin brand for Honduran coffee. It is the Honduran Western Coffee brand (HWC). This area includes coffee from two distinct regions in Western Honduras: Copan and Opalaca. This area includes communities in the departments of Copan, Lempira, Intibuca and Ocotepeque.
As you travel throughout Honduras, you will find that more often than not, small hotels put in a lot of pride to the coffee they serve you. As an example, La Villa de Soledad B&B serves fresh coffee grown in the mountains around Copan Ruinas. Cafe San Rafael ships them coffee from Copan to La Ceiba whenever required.