Inspiring stories: Azucena and Eliud

Thanks to the training we provide to coffee producers, we were able to know  inspiring stories of overcoming challenges and hard work, one of which is the case of Azucena and Eliud, coffee producers from Zongolica, Veracruz.

 “I work in the coffee farm because I want to help my dad and my brother, so they can sell their product in other markets and I am sharing with them the processes I learned with Enrique Lopez. My biggest dream is to have my own farm, my own coffee shop and to help other producers, because there are those who are selling their coffee only to one buyer and getting paid whatever the buyer wants. With the specialty coffee processes that we learned, they will be able to be more competitive and obtain better prices,” Azucena commented.

Being a woman producer in a men’s environment has led her to face challenges. “I’ve been told that because I’m a woman I can’t know more than a man, that coffee growing is only for men, but it is not true.  We can do whatever we want because we have the same rights and we can do it very well or even better than them. My mother taught us that, even if men support us, we must also contribute and not depend on them”.

 However, this has not stopped her desire to get ahead, which is why Azucena decided to be part of EQUAL Project. “What I want to get from this experience is knowledge, because I like to constantly train myself and thus improve the processes of the coffee we sell, to obtain a better income.”

In Eliud’s case, he studied engineering in business management, but two years ago he began to dedicate himself entirely to coffee because he wants to grow his family business: “We have been in the coffee business since my grandparents were alive. In 2015 we establish our own brand, because we had the experience that the harvest was only sold to a hoarder and that did not leave us profits. Then, my dad began to look for more customers once we established the brand”.

“While I was in the university, I focused on applying what I learned to coffee, in fact, I did my professional thesis on it”. And of course, Eliud has also faced challenges. “I feel that the biggest challenge is the production capacity, because we are small producers and sometimes we have the limitation that some customers come to us with a lot of demand, but we don’t have the production capacity or the economic resources to give the results they expect”.

 That was one of the reasons that led him to take the specialty coffee seminar in November of last year: “It helps us to obtain a better-quality coffee, which will increase our income. Knowing the types of varieties, helps us to obtain a better yield. In this way, consumers will also value our work, effort and dedication as producers.

We are sure that Azucena and Eliud will soon see the results of the work they have been doing and now with the support of EQUAL Project, the improvement in the quality of their product will translate into a greater economic benefit for their families.