Last year we were lucky enough to host Delmy Regalado from Liquidambar in Honduras at Extract London in Sustainable Bankside. We got to hang out and share coffee, stories and a few beers. Delmy is one of the most passionate and inspiring humans I've ever met - paraphrasing her stories into a blog post has felt like an impossible task.
But her stories are important. And so, so worth sharing. So I've tried my best. It's a long one - so grab a coffee (Organic Espresso if you have it) and enjoy 🤘
“Our farm, we call it paradise” smiles Delmy. She’s just got back from a whistlestop tour of London where we took her around the capital (to drink her own coffee). Now, she’s sharing stories from her farm, Liquidambar, to an intimate gathering of Extract friends huddled around the cupping table.
Delmy’s passion is infectious and our group is captivated as she explains the delicate relationship between coffee, the rainforest and environment and her community.
Delmy’s farm is Liquidámbar. A wholly organic farm in San Marcos within Copan, Honduras. Her coffee is used in our Organic Certified Espresso. Liquidambar is a new farm – just six years old, we’ve been working with them since 2015.
When asked the biggest challenge they face today, Delmy answers in a heartbeat. CLIMATE CHANGE.
Warmer climates have resulted in more resistant diseases which can devastate harvests, forcing farmers to expand into higher altitudes (where possible) or, to abandon coffee and diversify into other crops.
The team at Liquidambar works hard to overcome these challenges. The farm makes its own compost with the help of the Californian Red Worm which acts as a pest control and strengthens the plant’s resilience against pests and disease. Making and using their own compost prevents pollution of the farm’s waterways, and improves the quality of the soil and the quality and nutritional content of the coffee.
The savings from making their own compost covers the costs of organic certification – and certification, combined with the improved coffee quality, results in a higher price for her coffee.
Delmy describes how much care goes into ensuring they live in harmony with the environment, protecting the forest and wildlife. Water sources from the farm supply water to more than 5000 people in nearby towns and villages.
Like so many coffee-growing communities, increasing numbers of young people leave to pursue job opportunities in the cities. Delmy is pragmatic. “We need to get our young people to love the coffee,” she says. “Only then will they return with new skills to help us grow”.
Delmy went on to explain the work they do to support their workers and families and the work she does to provide women in her community with skills, qualifications and financial independence.
Our afternoon ebbed into the evening. The presentations finished, we chatted over a few drinks and continued our conversations until the evening came to a close.
As an Extract-er passionate about the environment and community, meeting Delmy floored me. Listening to her explain the delicate balance between preserving the environment, fighting climate change, supporting her community and ensuring the success of the farm was humbling. A total powerhouse – one we can all learn from. 💪
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