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FincaLab supports coffee quality training in Haiti

From the July 2014 issue.

Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak of Haiti Coffee led a group of volunteers to introduce coffee quality management techniques to local producers in Haiti last month.

With the support of a Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) program and USAID’s Farmer to Farmer program, Kaplan-Pasternak ran three days of training and workshops at the Makouti Training Center in Cap Hatien.

Gwen Straley of 3rd Creek Consulting, Mery Santos, Vice President of International Women in Coffee Alliance (IWCA), James Kosalos, President of San Cristobal Coffee Importers, and Christophe Nicaise of Singing Roster Coffee Roasters each volunteered their expertise to work on the project.

“Perhaps most gratifying of the entire program was the immediate and very positive response to Mery’s presentation and the great appreciation expressed by all participants for the lessons regarding the evaluation of coffee samples,” said James Kosalos, President of San Cristobal Coffee Importers, in a statement.

The participants used FincaLab tools to prepare, grade and roast five samples of coffee varying from world class to reject. This exercise aimed to demonstrate the necessity of formal cupping.

During the three days of training 30 leaders from 12 different cooperatives participated in interactive educational briefings in organisational systems, marketing, sales, and harvesting quality coffee, among others.

The group grew to 51 producers for two more days of sensory skills testing and trainings in FincaLab coffee sample evaluation techniques in Dondon, Haiti.

This second part of the program was dedicated to providing producers with their own personal sensory skills and teaching the steps used in formal evaluation of coffee samples.

The producers were taught to know their product and its value in order to sell it into the most appropriate market.

More collaborative conferences and workshops are in the planning stages to help rebuild the Haitian coffee industry to global standards.

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