The Arhuaco indigenous group is led by entrepreneur Aurora Izquierdo and currently supported by 700 coffee-producing families and a large team of people who committed to the same mission.
Aurora Izquierdo dreamt of turning coffee into a source of value within the farming and indigenous communities from La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Serranía del Perijá. The main objective was to solve solve problems such as lack of food and cultural recognition, a poor education system, and indigenous and rural economic crisis; and to do all of this without forgetting about the preservation of forests, rivers and fauna.
Aurora was one of the first women of her generation to leave the isolated indigenous Arhuaca community of Santa Maria and get a higher education. Upon Aurora’s graduation, she left Bogotá and returned to her community to create a sustainable agriculture program that would improve the quality of life for all of her community members. The foundation of ANEI honors the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous groups represented. The Arhuaco, or Ijku community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria, is one of four descendants of the Tayrona people. The area in which ANEI operates is made up of approximately 30,000 Arhuacos located between the departments of Cesar and Magdalena in Colombia.
With staff headed by the agricultural engineers Paulo Lemus and Alecy Andrade, ANEI is able to focus on increasing the productivity and improving the procedures in order to achieve the highest-quality coffee from each variety of coffee trees. It also has a quality-management program covering processes for each of the producers and a logistics system to classify the diverse qualities of the coffee bought by ANEI's laboratories, using a tasting procedure.
Along with the Colombian Department of Social Prosperity and Municipal Mayors, ANEI has set the goal of making a change toward ecological agriculture in all the municipalities of Cesar, Guajira and Magdalena departments, especially focusing on the coffee-growing field.
By 2016, Anei had 112 women coffee-growing members, supported 33 students with educational grants, had a comprehensive range of FTO Certified coffees in Northern Colombia, and had a simplified organizational and commercial model of relation and transparency between customer and producer.
Nice sweet stone fruit acidity, crisp, round body. Notes of caramel, chocolate, light citrus and nuts. (12/28/17)