Origins

Creating Meaningful Change Through Coffee

We operate at origin with our farmer partners because it’s the best way to make the biggest impact. Every partnership is different in nature and scale, but they are all the same at heart. We treasure each relationship, and we believe the connections we’ve made through growing and selling great coffee make our company and our product stronger.

Explore the map below to learn more about some of the 21 nations where we partner with local coffee growers. Click on a specific country to learn more about growing coffee in that region.

world-map Created with Sketch.
Honduras
Costa Rica
Nicaragua
Peru
Brazil
Ethiopia
Rwanda
Mexico
Uganda
Guatemala
Indonesia
Colombia

Honduras

Home to an estimated 110,000 coffee farming families, Honduras is the largest coffee producing country in Central America. Unsurprisingly, coffee plays a vital role in the nation’s economy and, along with bananas, accounts for 50 percent of the country’s yearly exports.

Despite this fact, and due to a lack of investment and infrastructure, Honduras has historically been known more for the volume of coffee produced as opposed to the quality, especially when compared with its Central American neighbors. However, Honduras has huge potential for improvements, and signs in recent years have been extremely positive as the specialty coffee sector in the country grows.

Westrock works with Honduran farmers to improve agricultural practices including picking and drying methods. This has increased overall cup quality and revenue with our partners at this particular origin.

Main Regions:
Copan, Montecillos, Agalta, Opalaca, El Paraiso, Comayagua, Ocotepeque, Marcala
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
1,000 to 1,600 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
November through March
Process:
Washed, Natural, Honey

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s long history of coffee production began in the early 1800s. Today, there are eight prominent coffee producing areas around the country, all carefully regulated by a national body known as the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE). ICAFE is essential to monitoring and protecting the minimum living standards and wages for coffee industry employees.

Today, the quality of Costa Rican coffee has increased with investments in micro-mills and close attention to detail from farm level to export. Roasters have created a diverse array of flavors through experimental processing methods. However, the quality of their naturals and honeys still reign supreme, featuring clarity, and complexity that few of the world’s producers can match.

In Costa Rica, we partner with impactful cooperatives that support thousands of farmers. Operations at these cooperatives are sophisticated and run 24 hours a day to give farmers the ability to drop their coffee off for processing at any time as well as to ensure farmers can get paid in a timely manner for their crops.

Main Regions:
West Valley, Tarrazu, Tres Rio, Orosi, Brunca, Turrialba, Central Valley
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
500 to 1,700 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
August through March
Process:
Washed, Natural, Honey

Nicaragua

There are three main coffee growing regions in Nicaragua, all in the northern part of the country. The largest producing region is Jinotega, closely followed by Matagalpa. Much smaller in production but known for its quality is the region of Nueva Segovia. All three of these regions produce truly fine coffee with distinct characteristics.

There are some 30,000 coffee farms among these three regions, and about 80 percent are micro in size. The vast majority of these farmers belong to cooperatives so as to better reach a consuming market and ensure their livelihoods. 

In an effort to support the farmers of Nicaragua during this time, remains engaged in commercial activities with farming communities there.

Main Regions:
Jinotega, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
1,200 to 1,700 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
November through May
Process:
Washed, Natural

Peru

The coffee industry of Peru is one of the country’s most important agricultural sectors. They export over 216 million kilograms of coffee each year, making them one of the most prolific coffee producers in the world. Peru is also one of the largest producers of organic and Fair Trade coffee beans. 

In Peru, Westrock has collaborated with their supply chain partners to implement improved agricultural practices and technologies including parabolic dryers and measuring moisture content of coffee in an aim to improve quality, a key element in increasing revenue. 

Main Regions:
Cajamarca, Junin, Cusco, San Martin
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
700 to 1,700 meters
Harvest Season:
May through October
Process:
Washed, Natural

Brazil

Brazil’s first coffee seedlings were brought from French Guiana to northern Brazil in 1727. Farmers sought areas better suited for coffee cultivation and, thus, began to migrate south through the states of Maranhão, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Paraná.

Responsible for around 40 percent of the world’s production, coffee is an essential product for Brazil’s national economy. They are the world’s largest producer, responsible for about 40 percent of production. Arabica makes up about 80 percent of the country’s coffee, with conillon - a type of robusta that has become a valuable commodity in domestic and foreign markets for its use in instant coffee - making up the remainder.

Brazil is home to the delicious coffee that Westrock sources and uses in a variety of blends. When market prices are low, we focus on purchasing large quantities of Fair Trade coffee to sustain farming efforts in these regions.

Main Regions:
Paraná, Mogiana, South of Minas, Cerrado, Matas de Minas, Espírito Santo e Bahia
Type of Coffee:
Arabica, Robusta
Altitude:
400 to 1,600 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
May through September
Process:
Washed, Natural

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is said to be the “birthplace of coffee” and home to some of the most distinctive and flavorful coffee in the world. Perhaps this is why they’re also the main coffee-consuming country in Africa, using almost half their annual production among their own population.

The country’s populated area is in the north central region, where farming is the main activity. Periodically, droughts lead to famine, which makes earning a fair wage during prime coffee production seasons imperative.

Westrock has strong ties to the country of Ethiopia. We are devoted to helping implement washing stations and creating and organizing coffee supply chains from the farmer to the consumer who cares to know where their coffee came from.

Main Regions:
Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Limu, Harrar, Djimmah, Bebeka, Teppi, Gimbi, Lekempti, Jima
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
1,400 to 2,200 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
April
Process:
Washed, Natural

Rwanda

Rwanda’s economy is currently in a state of recuperation after the country was devasted by ethnic conflicts and the 1994 civil war. The country has made astounding progress in the recent years, but there is still considerable room for growth and improvement.

Ninety percent of the Rwandan population depends on subsistence farming. Coffee and tea are the primary exports while light industry and foreign aid provide other income streams.

From our inception in 2009, Westrock has been committed to the growth of Rwanda’s coffee industry. In less than 10 years, we have supported the growth of an 87,000-person supply chain, become the largest exporter of Rwandan coffee by volume, established the Agribusiness Training Program focused on helping farmers increase their yields and enhance their revenue, and supported the efforts of many washing stations. Our mission to support farmers in Rwanda has enabled Westrock to pursue efforts in countries across the globe.

Main Regions:
Countrywide
Type of Coffee:
Arabica, Robusta
Altitude:
1,300 to 2,200 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
March through June
Process:
Washed

Mexico

Coffee was introduced to Mexico during the 18th century from Cuba. Now, they are the fifth largest producer in the world with an output of around 4 million bags per year. They are also the largest producer of organic coffee, exporting 60 percent of the world’s total volume in 2000.

Mexico’s current model of smallholder coffee farming began after the Mexican revolution in 1920, when wealthy European plantations were broken up and land was returned to indigenous peoples. Today, much of the country’s coffee comes from small farming cooperatives.

At 1.2 kilograms per capita, Mexico has the lowest annual coffee consumption in all of Latin America. Most of the country’s yearly 4 million bag commercial and specialty grade coffee production is exported to North America. Westrock purchases large amounts of Fair Trade coffee from Mexico to support farmers and sustain their work when market prices are low.

Main Regions:
Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
1,000 to 1,750 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
November through March
Process:
Washed

Uganda

Coffee makes up 95 percent of Uganda’s yearly national exports, providing a livelihood for an estimated 20 percent of the population. Uganda is one of the world’s largest robusta coffee producers as the plants are indigenous to their land. In fact, the country’s rainforests are home to one of the oldest varieties of coffee plants found in the wild. 

It’s common in Uganda for smallholder farmers to intercrop their coffee trees with traditional food crops, usually using shade trees such as bananas. In these self-sustaining conditions, coffee is left to grow naturally, flowering on average of twice a per year.

Following the success of our Agribusiness Training Program in Rwanda, we were able support the implementation of similar practices in Uganda. By sharing these methods with local farmers, we are able to support the growth of Ugandan coffee production shown through an increase in both the quality of the coffee and the yield farming families see year to year. 

Main Regions:
Mt. Elgon, Mt. Rwenzori, Mt. Muhabura
Type of Coffee:
Arabica, Robusta
Altitude:
1,200 to 2,300 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
Washed: July through February, Natural: August through May
Process:
Washed, Natural

Guatemala

Coffee production was initially slow in Guatemala due to lack of coffee growing knowledge and useful technology. However, in the 1800s, the decrease of other exports led to an increased effort toward coffee production. Coffee production soared and, by 1880, composed roughly 90 percent of the country’s exports.

The coffee association of Guatemala, Anacafe, has been instrumental in the improvement of picking, processing, and improving quality standards, with excellent information and resources available for farmers and a traceability database for buyers to connect with producers.

Anacafe works with companies like ours Westrock to create better processes and standards for coffee and, more importantly, the workers and farmers. In addition to supporting this, Westrock purchases large quantities of Fair Trade coffee to help balance the system when market prices are low.

Main Regions:
Coban, Antigua, San Marcos, Huehuetenango
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
700 to 2,000 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
May through October
Process:
Washed

Indonesia

Coffee was first planted in Sumatra by Dutch colonialists in the late 1600s under the guidance of the Dutch East India Trading Company – or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC). Between 1602 and 1796, the VOC sent almost 1 million Europeans to work in the Asia trade, importing more than 2.5 million tons of Asian goods. Since then, coffee has remained a crucial part of the economy in Indonesia.

Today, farm sizes in Sumatra are small, averaging only 1 to 5 hectares. They produce coffee mainly using a unique semi-washed process that is sometimes described as “wet-hulled” and is known locally as Giling Basah. This method brings about more body and often more of the character that makes Indonesian coffees so unique and recognizable, with flavors ranging from deep chocolate to tangerine funk.

Westrock focuses its efforts in Sumatra on Organic certified coffees. Our Organic Sumatran Blend highlights the coffees purchased from this origin and we are proud of the change it has created through increasing wages for farmers. 

Main Regions:
Aceh, Lake Toba, Mangkuraja
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
1,000 to 1,600 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
October through January
Process:
Wet-hulled

Colombia

The first export of Colombian coffee was in 1835 when 2,500 bags of coffee were sent to the United States. Colombian coffee exportation grew exponentially over the next 100 years, peaking in 1992 at about 17 million bags per year. Today, Colombian coffee is one of the most recognized coffee origins and exports an average of 9 million bags per year.

In 1927, Colombia created The Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC) because of coffee production’s huge impact on the country’s economy. To this day, the FNC oversees coffee research, technical advisory services, quality control, and marketing. 

Because of the FNC’s efforts along with the decades of coffee growing experience obtained by more than half a million hardworking coffee growers, the Colombian coffee industry has developed into a highly sophisticated system. Westrock is proud to purchase large quantities of coffee from Colombia and help sustain farmers who are dedicated to producing high-quality, Fair Trade coffee.

Main Regions:
Huila, Tolima, Narino, Quindo, Risaralda, Caldas
Type of Coffee:
Arabica
Altitude:
900 to 2,300 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level)
Harvest Season:
North: October through December, South: April through July
Process:
Washed