Peru Nelida Zurita (Organic) Filter
Juicy and clean, peach, kumquat jam, mandarin and a light honey finish.
Nelida Zurita Puelles is a single-mother and vociferous advocate for Organic farming. Nelida’s subsistence farm, Finca Lajas, is located in the community of Santa Rosa del Mirador, 80km west of Moyobamba. Nelida is a born leader who acts as a key driver in her community; she is the Vice President of the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Alto Mayo as well as the founder and Chairwoman of the Chope Womens Group.
The farms in the San Martin region of Peru, located just on the southern border of the Amazon, are not industrialised agricultural projects. This is subsistence farming where the families live on small plots growing their own fruit, vegetables, raising animals and producing saleable crops such as coffee. The environment is linked to the livelihoods and rich culture of these communities.
Agricultural practices as commonly distinguished as either “Organic” or “Conventional”. The concept of any kind of non-Organic farming as “conventional” – employing chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural inputs throughout the lifecycle of the crop – is a misguided one. There is nothing conventional about using chemicals on the food crops that we consume! For the Peruvian farmers who have lived on the land that they farm for generations, the idea of applying chemical inputs is literally described as “burning the earth”.
Nelida Zurita lives and breathes this ethos, and her passion for the natural world is infectious from the first minute that you meet her. When her husband started to use chemical fertilisers and herbicides on their family farm in 2011, chasing higher yields and better returns for their crops, Nelida was livid. She could not stand by and watch the pristine environment she has lived in her entire life be poisoned because of the “macho” desire to produce a larger crop with less effort.
She issued her husband an ultimatum – “it’s either me or the chemicals!” Her husband packed up and moved his chemical farming to another plot of land, and Nelida started work to convert Finca Lajas back to a model Organic farm. Within three years, her harvest quantities were higher and quality scores better than her ex-husband’s equivalent chemical farm. Nelida was one of the founding members of the Alto Mayo Cooperative in 2014, which allowed her to pursue Organic and FairTrade certifications.
In 2016, Nelida founded the Chope Womens Group; a group of “Mujeres emprendedoras e innovadoras” (enterprising and innovative women) within the Alto Mayo cooperative, which comprises 48 women-lead or entirely women-owned farms located in the western regions of Moyobamba. Nelida founded this group in as a kind of insurrection against the men in their community (mostly their own husbands!) and against chemical agriculture, inspired by Nelida’s own journey towards totally Organic farming.
- Technical Details
- Producer: Nelida Zurita Puelles
- Farm: Finca Lajas
- Processing: Washed
- Varieties: Caturra, Typica, Catuai
- Shade Grown: Under Inga & Legume trees
- Harvest: Early February 2020
- Altitude: 1325 masl
- Region: Moyobamba, San Martín
- Technical Details