Doña Miriam

Every harvest, Doña Miriam purchases a small amount of coffee plants by incurring a loan with the hope of making a sustainable living. She aspires to produce her coffee by using organic techniques even though using chemical fertilizers would give her a competitive edge. Miriam says, “I would rather produce less, than produce poor quality coffee”. However, as a smallholder farmer, she does not have the technical training and funding to continue her dream of producing organic coffee. Currently, she earns only $3 per kilogram of green beans. The coffee is usually processed through cooperatives, which is then sold to commercial roasters, who then sell it for a premium price of approximately $60 per kilogram of coffee. Miriam only earns about 6% of the revenue from sales of coffee. This does not allow Miriam to cultivate her dream of improving the organic process. Instead, she is forced to consider commercial options with the use of chemicals that are harmful to the soil, just to ensure higher yields.