A group of volunteers led by Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak of Haiti Coffee and supported by Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) and USAID’s Farmer to Farmer program traveled to Haiti in June to introduce coffee quality management techniques to Haitian coffee farmers. James Kosalos, president of Cristobal Coffee Importers; Christophe Nicaise, Singing Roster Coffee Roasters; Mery Santos, VP of International Women’s Coffee Alliance; and Gwen Straley, 3rd Creek Consulting, shared their expertise and led the three day training program at the Makouti Training Center in Cap Haitien that included interactive workshops to train the attendees on marketing, sales, harvesting quality coffee and technical skills.
IWCA Vice President Mery Santos conducted the ARMOS Intro Class and Sensory Skills Workshop. The course taught coffee producers how to conduct a proper evaluation of coffee samples with FincaLab® techniques. These evaluation skills are valuable to coffee farmers because they teach them to discover their product’s value and help sell their product in the most appropriate markets. Samples of quality coffee were also prepared, graded and roasted by attendees using FincaLab® tools.
Mery also presented on the importance of organizing a chapter for the Haitian coffee farmers. After the educational session, attendees reviewed the IWCA chapter protocols, identified chapter leaders and contacted IWCA about the next steps.
The educational program is a result of a three-year collaboration between Haiti Coffee and Makouti Agro Enterptise, a Haitian agricultural business and marketing cooperative. We look forward to participating in more collaborative conferences and workshops to help rebuild and empower the Haitian coffee industry.