John Jairo Pulgarin is a coffee farmer full of hopes and dreams. The obstacles he faced were just lessons to get stronger and move on. He tells, with great humility, the great effort that went into buying his La Clarita farm. John grew up in a poor family where from an early age he worked as a coffee picker on other farms. From there, the love of coffee and its cultivation was born, and with it the dream of giving their children an education and a different future. For this he worked hard and saved and after several years he managed to realize his dreams.
Since 2012 he has been the owner of Finca la Clarita. John Jairo has three children and his greatest desire has been to be able to give his children the education that he did not have. A dream that he has achieved, thanks to his hard work and perseverance.
Every day there are jobs to do on the farm. Because it is a small property, two people are in charge of the daily tasks of the farm: cleaning, fertilizing, drying ... we call this farm maintenance.
When there are work peaks, the workforce increases to 4 workers who are in charge of the collection of the beans. In times of big harvests, he manages to have 6 to 8 collectors depending on the amount of coffee.
In addition, there is always the manager who’s in charge of the farm and his wife, along with my family and I. The manager's wife is the head chef and is in charge of cooking lunches for everyone. When we are in harvest, she receives help from my wife.
In search of a better future, my path crossed with Progeny Coffee. They manage to secure a sustainable price for my production. Today I am a producer of Progeny Coffee, one of the few who bet on organic cultivation among Colombian producers.
Progeny is a project of young Colombians that develop direct sales channels between coffee farmers and consumers. María J. Palacio, daughter and niece of Colombian coffee farmers is the founder and CEO of Progeny Coffee. María and her team offer coffee farmers like John and his family a direct window to the rest of the world. María is the voice of these coffee farmers and reports to the outside as well as to them on the inside. In recent year María had the chance to travel the world pointing out that the coffee that consumers usually have access to has turned into a commodity. Being a commodity it is difficult and impossible to know who has cultivated it under which economic circumstances, using what techniques.
Within Colombia María brought together a group of coffee farmers to advocate for the quality of their cultivation. Her plan to achieve this: making sure that the coffee farmers are the protagonists and not only of the cultivation but also of the sale of their own coffees. María put it like this: “In order to motivate a coffee farmer to produce quality you need to let him take part in the entire value chain. As well as consumers, who want to know more and more about the farmers, the farmers also have a right to get to know the consumers and feel special and convince them that it is worthwhile to go for responsible and top quality cultivation”.