Sustainability is engrained in our farming practices, and shapes the way in which we interact with our employees and with the environment, and how we work our land. At Hacienda La Esmeralda, we are in our third generation – not only of owners, but also of employees.
At Hacienda La Esmeralda we restore the nutrients removed from our land through farming by applying only adequate and needed fertilizers in modest quantities. We reuse coffee pulp, as a source of fertilization and irrigation, by draining it out on the dairy pastures. Efforts are constantly made to maintain forest along watersheds and to respect the local fauna. This is the main reason why our coffee tree pruning is purposely timed both before and after our local bird nesting season. For energy efficiency, we use both hydroelectricity and sustainable wood burning to run our coffee mill.
At Hacienda La Esmeralda we believe our business practices must always be such that our products will readily sell at a level which will keep everyone fed, clothed, educated and in good health. We strive, consistently, to produce a very high-quality product, that will generate the needed revenue to sustain people at the level described.
At our farms, Geisha coffee pickers receive three times the average price paid for harvesting. In addition to that, in June, all harvesters receive a special bonus. We’ve built a nursery, where harvesters’ children, as well as mothers with infants, are taken care of, and fed a hot meal, while their parents or spouses are picking coffee. We also supply packages of rice and beans, or rice and sardines to every adult in the workers’ family. Children of the workers’ family with outstanding grades are entitled to a scholarship for both elementary and secondary school as well as a full scholarship for college education.