Highlights from our interview with Gold Mountain Coffee Growers

If you love excellent coffee and great people, listen to our interview with Ben, Chief farmer & CEO of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers and Finca Idealista. Highlights from the interview are below and the full interview can be found at Coffee With The Queen (episode 8) on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Podbean.

Just a little background before we begin…

Gold Mountain Coffee Growers connects eco-conscious farmers directly with coffee roasters, and in doing so, empowers farmers to grow award-winning coffees, increase their standard of living, achieve financial independence, and undertake personal and community development projects. Gold Mountain Coffee Growers also manages their own farm, Finca Idealista, and private rainforest nature preserve.

On how direct trade impacts farmers

“It means everything…prices that actually let people — it sounds horrible to say so — but to eat. When people sell locally, [they get] such a low price that people have trouble putting food on their tables. So, when you’re able to get a better price by going straight to a roaster, you’re able to support your family, your workers, and get by.”

On the choice between certification and farm reinvestments

“We could get our farm certified under Fair Trade USA….we do all kinds of work on sustainability, but we didn’t choose to get a Rainforest Alliance or other certification… we bought a rain forest with what it probably would have cost to maintain a certification that shows that we’re environmentally friendly, and we protect that rain forest and we’re never going to grow coffee there.”

On community impact and reinvestment…

“Yeah, so we’ve done a lot of projects… but when farmers connect with roasters, they can make an income so that they can choose what they need to do on their farms. We are proud of our work… but we are more proud [that] all these farmers earn a standard of living that’s higher… they can send their kids to school with the right books, and the right materials, and the right clothing, and send their kids to university. Those direct connections, allowing farmers to earn their own income rather than giving handouts, is what makes us the happiest and why we exist.”

On this year’s crop….

“…the cherries are looking so perfectly ripe and we’re sorting so well that it’s better each year. One year we won 16 medals and we thought that was a lot, and then all of a sudden we’re winning 27 medals — roasters are winning them. This year, a lot of competitions will be canceled but the coffee is still getting better.”

To listen to the full podcast, look for Coffee With The Queen (episode 8) on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Podbean. To learn more about Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, visit their website or instagram page.

Photos and videos curtesy of Gold Mountain Coffee Company.

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