Finca Santa Margarita is largely operated by women. In addition to women coffee pickers, women are in charge of the grafting program and of running the farm's school and health clinic.
Camila Topke, formerly a trader with InterAmerican, is a member of the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and for a time was vice president of the IWCA Guatemala chapter. She was also instrumental in developing Santa Margarita's forward-looking environmental programs and is still very active in its management.
Finca Santa Margarita
The farm was founded in 1838 by Thomas Wyld (Camila’s great grandfather) and has been in the family or four generations. Today, Santa Margarita is 2,320 hectares—812 of which are coffee farm—with Caturra, Sarchimor, Catimor and Geisha varieties. The rest is dedicated natural forest land, devoted to the promotion of natural species and wildlife biodiversity.
The farm has three springs, which are protected by environmental policies and provide water to the people living on the farm, as well as to the wet mill.
Environmental sustainability is a key mission of Finca Santa Margarita, from the moment seeds are planted to the moment coffee leaves the farm. Its management practices are based on an agroforestry system that includes low intakes of agrochemicals, the use of organic, compost-based soil nutrition, high shade coverage and sustainable quality standards.
The farm also takes very seriously the quality of life of the workers on the farm. It houses an elementary school for children who live on Santa Margarita, as well as neighboring farms (there are 75 children in the school in total). The farm also includes a small church and health clinic that partner with the Guatemala Dept. of Health.
Coffee is washed and dried on patios, as well as on raised African beds. A goal of the farm is to build a cupping facility on site and to train workers to cup and be advocates for quality.
Cupping notes: Milk chocolate, light citrus, caramel, brown sugar, honey; bright acidity.
Finca Santa Margarita also produces a strictly Geisha offering.
Geisha cupping notes: Dulce de leche, jasmine, stone fruit; delicate acidity, tea-like body.