Aldea Coffee: Coffee Producer in Nicaragua
Nestled in a small northern pocket of the country, Nicaragua’s coffee regions offer unique microclimates and diverse terrain, ideal for coffee farming. Jinotega sits at heart of this coffee growing capital and boasts a long history of shade-grown coffee. While sun-grown coffee has higher yields, shade-grown coffee easily outperforms them in sustainability measurements. It is proven to improve soil health by replenishing aquifers, retaining soil humidity, reducing soil erosion and storing more carbon as well as improving wildlife habitats and acting as a natural pest repellent.
Jinotega is home to Aldea Coffee, a co-operative with a deep commitment to sustainable solutions, which enable rural communities to thrive through coffee farming. Founded by 22 farmers, the groups vision was to build an organisation able to access credit, improve agricultural practices, and export their coffee at higher prices.
Tackling Challenges with Technology
In one of the world’s most undeveloped regions, Aldea Coffee is breaking down barriers through the integration of tailored information and communication technology to improve transparency in their coffee supply chain. A core component of their strategic plan is technological innovation, which is enabling the co-operative to improve their monitoring of harvests and export volumes. Alongside this, they offer technical assistance to the farmers, improving the coffee quality and enabling them to earn a higher price.
With a focus on providing greater support to their members, Aldea Coffee have introduced a mobile application (app)
to achieve this. The app also enables farmers to monitor weather patterns, supporting them to mitigate against the impacts of climate change, while receiving personalised technical assistance to improve coffee yields.
Aldea Coffee are confident this innovative solution will be transformative for farmers, their families, and their coffee plantations. According to their statistics, 80% of producers have a smartphone, and over 20% of coffee farmers are already using the app, which was launched in 2019. The co-operative aims to have all producers using the app by 2027. President of the Board of Directors Rosa Olivia Rizo Ubeda, said:
"Steering an organization with a majority of men - not such an easy task, but I lead with the Board and supporting committees, and consensual decision-making is possible thanks to the smart use of technology in our management, production and agribusiness activities."
Business Manager Diedericks Gadea, said:
“Technology is not the solution without quality operational processes. Technology renders these processes efficient. If you believe that technology will resolve poor internal processes, you will fail to achieve your desired results. One must align the right people, processes and technology for success.”
Inspiration through Innovation
Shared Interest Customer Representative for Central and North America Karolina Jiménez, said:
“It is inspiring to visualize the impact that technology has had on their business and producers’ lives thanks to their visionary leadership and commitment with continuous improvement.
"Aldea Coffee is also promoting the use of technology by sharing its experience with other coffee organisations. Their experience will definitely inspire other co-operatives to follow the same path.”