The mention of Mexico tends to evoke a number of images in a person's mind, including spicy food, tequila, and sombreros. However, Mexico also has a thriving coffee industry - the achievements of which are undoubtedly as well known as those of some of the world's largest beans-growing nations, such as Brazil and Ethiopia. Mexico is one of the many countries where DRWakefield supplies us with green coffee. Here, we will analyze the history of coffee cultivation in the country, how this has developed over the years, and what the future of the Mexican industry looks like.
The history of coffee production in Mexico
Coffee is believed to have first arrived in Mexico in the late 1700s and began to be grown by local farmers. He came to the country with the Spaniards, who brought the plants with them from Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
However, it was not until many years later that the Mexican coffee industry began to catch on, as it began exporting its products abroad on a regular basis in the late 1800s. During this period, Mexican coffee was grown primarily near the country's border with Guatemala, which led to some land disputes between farmers, which led to wealthy European parties purchasing large areas and investing in strategic strategies. long-term cultivation.
It was not until the twentieth century that many smaller farmers began to take growing beans seriously, realizing that it was a viable way to make money and meet the demand of traders and toasters abroad. History books show that these smaller-scale producers were often much more successful than larger plantation owners - something Harvard student Casey M Lurtz explored in his analysis of the Mexican coffee industry.
Speaking to Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, Ms. Lurtz said: “The people who succeeded were the ones who didn't become too aspirational. "Those who failed were those who were determined to grow up or go home. They went home." The country's coffee market has grown significantly over the years and today, Mexico is among the largest growers of organic beans in the world - in 2000, the nation was responsible for 60% of organic coffee in the world.
Coffee growing conditions in Mexico
Mexico is perfectly suited to the cultivation of Arabica grains, due to its large location close to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Due to its diverse climate and location, coffee plants in the country tend to bloom three to four times a year - provided the conditions are right - which means that the season from November to March usually has a coffee crop.
The South American nation has a topography that varies significantly, but most of its grains (about 40%) are currently grown in forests of medium and medium-altitude, according to AMCAFE figures.
Mexican coffee cooperatives
As in many countries, coffee in Mexico is traded and exported through a cooperative system, bringing farmers together and making sure they get the best possible price for their products while making sure that traders like us at DRWakefield get the best. best grains available to sell toasters.
A cooperative-style group - INMECAFE - existed in the country in the latter part of the twentieth century, but it collapsed in 1989, having a devastating effect on farmers due to the prevalence of corruption and exploitation. However, the nation soon recovered from this, with new cooperatives set up a few years later.
In fact, Equal Exchange states on its website: "The model and success of Mexican cooperatives and civic organizations have laid the foundations for some of the most compelling social movements in the world."
Despite its fragmented beginnings, Mexico's coffee market has expanded significantly over the years, with figures from the 2011-12 harvest showing that the country produced about 5.6 million bags of 60 kg beans, carrying 52% of these abroad. Although the harvest represents only 0.26 percent of the nation's total economy, in some of the most successful coffee-producing states - Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, and Chiapas, for example - 90 percent of Mexico's beans are grown, which means that a much greater impact on the local economy there.
These four states also produce coffee with very different cutting profiles, with the one from Oaxaca which tends to have a taste reminiscent of milk chocolate and almonds, while the beans from Veracruz are very sweet, with hints of roasted hazelnuts. In Puebla, coffee tends to taste like walnuts and caramel, and in Chiapas, notes of dark chocolate and cherries are often present, demonstrating a significant diversity depending on the individual group and cup.
What's next for Mexico?
The Mexican coffee industry has undergone many changes over the years, but its beans remain among the most popular in the world due to their intensely rich and unique cutting profiles, which are covered by roasters around the world.
At DRWakefield, we will continue to obtain quality green coffee from this source, while following developments in the Mexican market to see whether or not its future will be as vibrant as its past.