Gregorio and Isabel Torre’s coffee farm is hidden high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, where few have journeyed or even know exists. Their farm looks out upon miles of mountains and jungle, which led them to name their farm “El Mirador” or “The Lookout”.
The Torre’s have been farming coffee for over ten years now, but until recently they have been limited to selling their coffee to local buy-houses, who purchase green coffee based upon weight with no regard for quality. For some farmers, this can be a positive resource. But, for farmers who grow specialty grade coffee, there is much more return for their hard work through alternate avenues.
Jerod, a missionary in Peru, became friends with Gregorio and Isabel and soon saw potential to greatly improve the Torre’s livelihood by connecting their resources to the American market through a local Co-op. Convincing Gregorio that a trustworthy co-op exists and that such a connection would prove beneficial for him and his family was a challenge for Jerod; Gregorio had been burned by a co-op before. Empty promises in the past resulted in Gregorio not being paid by a co-op, and he could not afford a devastation such as that again.
Thankfully, Gregorio trusted Jerod enough to allow him to connect with the Co-Op, La Florida, on his behalf. Though Gregorio does not deal directly with La Florida, the partnership has proven to be beneficial for all parties.
Back in August of 2019, our Director of Wholesale and in-house Q Grader, Alex Sherman was given the opportunity to stay with Gregorio and Isabel on their farm and to experience the fruits of their labor firsthand. Coffee production is rigorous and challenging no matter where you are in the world, but never before have we seen a family labor with such joy and humility. For years, their hard work and wonderful coffee had gone unnoticed. But, through the perseverance and kindness of Jerod and the great courage of Gregorio, the Torre family are now experiencing sustainable growth and being seen for their inherent worth.
Through Jerod, the door was opened to us to further the work of the Torre family for this and future harvests. By partnering directly with Gregorio and Isabel, we are able to pay them greater than fair trade wages for their coffee, provide them access to the American market, invest in their facilities, and commit to purchase their coffee before next year’s harvest comes around.
We are continually enriched by seeing them and partnering with them. Much like the name of their farm, “El Mirador” or “The Lookout,” our own outlook has been revitalized by their outlook on life, abundant with joy and humility. As we honor relationships such as this, we recognize that these relationships are what breathe life into what we do. This is exactly why we can confidently say, “Your Coffee Matters”.