Monday, January 17, 2011

GUATEMALA - UPC Coffee Cooperative

By Casey

Today we visited the headquarters of the UPC cooperative in La Democracia, outside of Huehuetenango. Our group received a wonderful tour of some of the farms of families participating in the cooperative. We traveled far up into the hills to see and learn about the beautiful farms these hard working families have cultivated. The farmers were doing great at using by-products and recycling waste in sustainable ways. The one waste product that was not able to be reused was what is called “honey water” (aguas mieles). It is a watery sugar by-product created from fermenting and husking the coffee fruit. A farm we visited was running the liquid into a trench in the ground which solves the problem of honey water running into the river, causing environmental harm. However, Zac and I were wondering if there is any other use out there for this by-product. If anyone has any ideas or knows of ways coffee farmers are already using this by-product, please leave a comment on this webpage. Here is a video made last year of the UPC...

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