Coffee in Honduras
Honduras is the largest coffee producer in Central America, with a total of around 110,000 families working in the coffee sector. The country offers the best conditions for high-quality Arabica beans. These mainly come from the three large coffee regions: Copán in the north-west of the country, Montecillos in the south-west and Agalte, in the centre of the country.
In terms of taste, Honduran coffee offers a versatile repertoire from mild, aromatic to strong, spicy coffees. Nutty or fruity notes and a balanced acidity are typical. The coffee is cultivated organically, and the harvest takes place between November and April.
The first coffee trees were planted in Honduras around 1800, in the department of Olancho. In the highland regions, which are mainly used for cultivation, the soil is particularly fertile and the climate is perfect. Different Arabica varieties are cultivated, for example Pacas and Typica. Chemicals are not used in Honduras. The Instituto Hondureño del Café, the country's coffee organisation, founded in 1970, keeps a watchful eye on quality. The country has to struggle with high rainfall, which makes the dry processing of the coffee difficult.
Coffee from Honduras is sometimes subject to quality fluctuations, as the coffee cherries from different micro-plantations are blended in cooperatives for export. The country's high-quality beans are particularly impressive for their strong, spicy taste. Also typical are the balanced acid structure, a velvety mouthfeel and fine notes of nut and fruit. Special mention should be made of coffee grown at altitudes of 1,000 - 1,500 metres and 2,000 metres. This is called 'High Grown' (HG) or 'Strictly High Grown' (SHG) and is particularly aromatic.
- Coffee species: Arabica
- Main flowering: March to May
- Main harvest: October to March
- Shipment: January to June
- Port: Puerto Cortés (100%)
- Classification: according to defects, regions and cultivation altitude
- Harvest: the coffee is picked by hand
- Processing: mainly wet, partly dry processing
- Fermentation: 12 hours in fermentation tank (washed coffees only)
- Drying: in the sun, then in drum and tower dryers
- Sorting: electronically; selected varieties are then sorted by hand
NKG Bloom is an initiative of the well-known german Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) to help smallholder farmers with the opportunities and resources they need to run their farms at full potential and enter a pathway out of poverty. Participating farmers are smallholders (they farm fewer than 30 hectares of coffee) and farmer organizations largely comprised of producers with fewer than 30 hectares. They commit to work in collaboration with the project teams to run their farms as businesses and to improve upon prioritized social and environmental practices.
Financing is often the core bottleneck faced by farmers. In a years-long effort, NKG worked with five organizations (USAID, IDH: The Sustainable Trade Initiative, and European banks ABN-AMRO, BNP Paribas and Rabobank) to create an innovative risk-sharing solution that minimizes the risk of lending to some of the world’s poorest farmers. This $25 million revolving-credit facility creates a way for smallholder farmers and farmer groups to quickly and easily borrow needed funds:
- Enabling farmers to realize their full potential: Permanent Farmer Services Units at NKG export companies provide farmers with access to financing, inputs and any know-how they need to run their farms at their full potential and maximize their net incomes.
- Supporting inclusive sustainability: Teams engage farmers who are struggling to meet sustainability standards — even with the prickliest topics — so that every earnest effort and improvement is encouraged.
- Striving for transparency and traceability: Mobile software will link each NKG Bloom coffee to the work being done on the ground in support of it, the farm or farm group that produced it, and the green coffee buyer who purchases it — and enable verifiable monitoring and evaluation.
The flag of Honduras
The two blue bars symbolise the Pacific and the Atlantic, the two seas on which Honduras is situated. As an expression of hope for a new federation of Central American states, five blue stars were placed in the white central stripe in 1866, representing the former members of the Central American Confederation. The central star stands for Honduras itself, as it is the central state of Central America.