December 3, 2015
More than one hundred participants had their coffee tasted by Colombia´s foremost coffee tasters, and the winner of the competition was the La Rivera farm, in the district of Risaralda, which is located in the western central region of Colombia.
Risaralda is very well known for the high quality of its coffee. The region is very mountainous and has many kinds of climates in a small area.
“We give our soil the nutrients it needs to produce excellent quality coffee,” said the winner of the competition, Juan Fernando Chica. Fernando manages La Rivera with his partner Julio Cesar Madrid.
The coffee from La Rivera was given a quality score of 88.2 from the panel of 11 independent judges.
“A coffee that scores higher than 85 points can compete with any coffee worldwide,” said expert coffee taster and head of the judging panel, Steven Díaz.
Among the 10 finalists, 9 obtained a score above 85 points. The coffee is judged on criteria such as acidity, body, aroma and taste and given points on a scale from 1 to 100 as developed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).
“We would like to reward the efforts and good practices of the coffee grower. We are convinced that a well-nourished coffee plant produces coffee of excellent quality,” says Geoffrey Zambrano, head of marketing for Yara Colombia. “This competition is important because the way forward for the Colombian coffee farmer is not only to produce more, but better coffee, to ensure a profitable and sustainable coffee business.”
Coffee cup champions, Fernando Chica and Julio Cesar Madrid, will be invited to take part in the Specialty Coffee Association of America Annual Exposition in Atlanta, U.S. in April 2016 as guests of Yara.
Farms that entered the competition ranged from 3 hectares to more than 100 hectares.
“It is not the size of the farm that matters, it is the attitude of the coffee farmer, his commitment to improving his practices, the way in which he follows up his crop, his management of his resources that result in success and continuous improvement in the quality of the bean. The cup quality together with higher productivity are the key factors in making sure coffee is a sustainable business,” continues Geoffrey Zambrano.
The Yara Champion Program Coffee is not only a competition but a program designed to ensure that champion farmers share their knowledge with other farmers in their districts in order to improve overall agricultural competence.