Ocotal coffee has found its way to the home of many of El Sauce’s visitors—the SUNY Geneseo campus. Thanks to the efforts of the EnlaceProject Geneseo club and students Effie Barbagiannis, Jessica Kroenert, and Pat McCormick, the university’s Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) has begun promoting and selling the coffee at its Books & Bytes location in the library.
The project began during the summer of 2013 when students from SUNY Geneseo’s study abroad programs in El Sauce decided that they wanted to help the farmers expand their market for coffee sales. After interviewing several of the farmers in Ocotal, Effie, Jessica, and Pat drafted up a proposal and met with representatives from CAS.
“They were super responsive,” Jessica comments, “after our first meeting, they figured everything out on their end to make it happen.”
The coffee went on sale towards the end of the month of February, and CAS has been enthusiastically promoting the product. “Ocotal Coffee is now available at Books & Bytes. Organic and shade grown, this coffee is also direct trade which gives the farmers a much fairer price for their coffee,” says the CAS Facebook page, accompanied by images of many of the students who have been involved.
To get the coffee on campus, CAS worked with Java Joe, who directly bought the coffee en oro, or “golden.” The coffee is shipped up to Rochester, NY, where it is roasted and sold at the city’s farmer’s market. With the help of buyers such as CAS, the community of Ocotal hopes that their partnership with Java Joe will continue for many years. Currently, the next batch of coffee is being prepared to ship.
Geneseo’s CAS comments, “CAS is proud to support the farmers from this region through a direct trade partnership that brings the coffee beans to a local coffee roaster in Rochester and then to Geneseo, where it is sold at Books & Bytes cafe in Milne Library. This partnership gives the farmers a much fairer price for their coffee and brings the campus a high quality, organic coffee directly from Juan, Fabio, Emiliano and the other farmers in the El Sauce Coffee Co-operative.”
We hope that everyone in the Geneseo area will give the coffee a try; it’s student-tested and approved!