angel barrera | 2019-11-05
The Ovalle family is one of the best known Guatemalan family in the world of Specialty coffee. They acquired a reputation of excellence among the US roasters. This year Finca La Bolsa, El Rincón and Las Terrazas are going to be discovered for the first time in Europe. Discover the interview of Renardo, producer of this three farms which come together under the brand "Vides58".
Hi, my name is Renardo Ovalle. I am an agricultural engineer, and the third generation of my family to be a coffee producer. I have been in the world of coffee since I was born, because I traveled with my parents in my grandparents farms, where they used to grow coffee in Huehuetenango. My grand father Jorge Vides started to grow coffee mainly from Caturra and Bourbon varieties in the councils of La Libertad and San Antonio Huista, in Huehuetenango. When he passed away, my grandmother, my mother and my aunt kept managing the plantations until 2001, when I integrated the management team.
My grand father started in 1958, and we are currently working on 3 coffee plantations : Finca La Bolsa, Finca El Rincon, and Finca Las Terrazas, the oldest one being Finca La Bolsa with Caturra and Bourbon varieties.
All our plantations are at an altitude between 1300 and 2250 meters. Our second strength is the process management. In 2001, we started to focus our production towards quality. We started to harvest the coffee at its optimum point of maturation, which allowed us in 2002 to win the second position of the Cup of Excellence, where we started to work to improve quality. We’re always looking for continuous improvements, for instance before, we didn’t pay as much attention to the drying process as we do today. In the end, we never stop learning new things.
One of our goals is the long-term relationship with our clients, we want to grow with them. We are currently introducing 3 new projects of small farms, Los Pinos, Rio Ocho and La Escondida, where we are going to work varieties like SL28, Gesha, Pacamara, Yellow and Red Bourbon, Typica and others.
My grand father, who was a doctor, had the will to be useful to people, since back then the access to medical services was very rare in Huehuetenango. So he had a clinic where he received the workers and people from the nearby towns for free. Moreover, in the 80’s, the Finca La Bolsa school was opened; it is still in function today. What my grand father started with this will to be useful to others was passed on along the years, enticing us into looking for new ways to help and contribute to the community.
Another project we have is to get support from the Coffee Care organization of Guatemala, which is developing a kindergarten for the workers’ kids, so that instead of bringing them to harvest coffee with then, they let them in the kindergarten where they’re provided with education, food, and health. They also set up training courses for bakery, cooking, electricity, etc. This project puts Education at the heart of human progress.
I am emotionally attached to the Caturra variety with which I grew up. Thanks to the microclimates and the soils, this variety grows perfectly. We get amazing results in the cup in terms of quality. Moreover, it adapts and produces very well.
I’m kind of traditional, my favorite ones are the fully washed, even if I have to say that lately we discovered very interesting honey and natural coffees, but we’re still in the learning process of these processes.
We thank Renardo for his time dedicated to this interview. To discover more about his coffees, read our technical information on his farms and follow the link below:
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