Ricardo’s father was a small coffee producer, where Ricardo learnt his trade. Ricardo planted coffee at Santa Lucia thirty years ago, along with bananas, oranges and limes but also vegetables like, asparagus and carrots. His idea was to always mix the farming since coffee production has its good and bad years. Spread the risk. The approach also inspired him to move towards a more organic product.
One year, when Ricardo was spraying pesticide at a tall tree, he realized that as the spray fell back to Earth, he was covering himself in chemical. This could not be good for himself, or the plants.
Back at this point, he was a conventional coffee farmer, farming coffee with conventional methods. When he decided to make the move from conventional to a more organic farm, his production fell from 30-35 fenegas to just two. This was financially challenging - there was very little income into the farm.
Back in 2000, Marvin & Felippe met Ricardo through growing avocados. In the first year the three of them (Ricardo, Felippe & Marvin) worked together and started the farm, but produced only a hundred and seventy bags. Last year, twelve years on, they produced five thousand two hundred fenegas. An increase of 2,000%.