Carmela "Carmelita" Urduvi - Carmelita
Farm size: 3 ha
Process station: Rodriguez mill
Varietals: Java, Caturra, Catuaí
Bought since: 2016
We have bought from Carmelita ever since she re-started her farm after being hit by leaf rust. Carmela is one of the strongest people we have ever met in coffee. We have seen her farm grow from half a hectare with low yield, to three hectares with beautiful and lush production. It has helped being a part of the sustainability program Sol de la Mañana which is run by our exporter Pedro Rodriguez with family, and that won the SCA Sustainability Award for Most Sustainable Business Model 2019. Carmelita has more than tripled her yield compared to before the leaf rust hit her farm a decade ago. We are proud to hold the European exclusivity on the coffee from Carmelita.
When we met, Carmelita had just prepared her land for a second hectare and was ready to start planting her new Caturra and Catuaí seedlings from her nursery. This time she wanted to do everything right from the beginning, with the help of the agronomists in the Sol de la Mañana project. Carmelita Urduvi has been working in coffee for 40 years. Originally she is from Omasuyos, near the lake called Titicaca. She moved with her husband to Caranavi when a government led reform gave the land back to thousands of indigenous families. Since then they had 8 children. Carmelita raised their children while running the farm after her husband disappeared. Carmelita told us that the management of the farm is her greatest achievement, and yes we are all impressed by her extraordinary producing standards and the farm is always clean, tidy and in great shape. Her oldest son works full time on the farm throughout the whole year, another two of her sons work for our exporter Rodriguez Buena Vista farms.
Unique to anyone else we have met in Bolivia, she is known to clean each cherry after picking and before putting it into her bags and delivering it for processing at the Rodriguez mill. By producing a better quality coffee she is able to earn more money and have a better future for her and her children. She believes that joining the program has helped her to better understand what she needs to do in order to produce better coffee and keep her crops stronger and healthier.
Since the first time, we met Carmelita we had a strong feeling that we were going to work together. She is driven, strong and very focused on attention to details. Visiting and buying her coffee for years now, this has become one of our strongest relationships. We have done brewing classes, competitions on best Sol de la Mañana-cup (Carmelita won!), played football... but most importantly Carmelita has a steady business and she is growing rapidly but safely.