Casimiro Garcia Lopez and Reyna Petronila Luna have a 20 hectare farm in the Pluma Costa region of Oaxaca, Mexico. After tasting their coffee, what struck us about their story is that they are truly a family business. It was one of Casimiro and Reyna’s sons who first introduced his family to Red Fox Coffee Merchants, whose sourcing operations in Mexico have been deepening over the last several years. This is Red Fox’s third year buying from them, and our first.
Casimiro and Reyna’s adult children contribute to the family business in a variety of ways - farming, networking, marketing, and staying engaged with best practices through ongoing business education in Oaxaca City. While all of this certainly helps the farm stay in such excellent shape, it is also an encouraging example of a rural enterprise gradually and amicably transitioning to a younger generation, an increasingly rare transition throughout the world. When we identify supply chains where this appears to be taking place in a positive and constructive manner, we’re thrilled to support them. In the case of the Garcia Lopez family, we are confident that this cross-generational collaboration is positive because we know that it is taking place in addition to off-farm education, pursuit of alternate income, and that the adult children’s involvement has directly helped the family earn farmgate compensation roughly 70% higher than the average local benchmark by working with Red Fox. We are also optimistic that their sustained success will resonate with neighbours, some of whom have already begun selling their own cherries to Casimiro and Reyna for processing, thus easing their way into this supply chain without significant investment just yet.
In the seasons ahead, Casimiro has mentioned that the family hopes to replant and renovate some sections of their farm, install additional raised beds for drying, and experiment with anaerobic fermentation - a processing nuance gaining some popularity in the roasting and cafe scene in Mexico. And finally, when it’s not busy-season among the coffee trees, the Garcia Lopez family also operates a blacksmithing operation. A family affair, through and through.
In the cup, we taste pear, brown sugar and coconut.