Coffee professionals in the roasting mecca of Portland, Oregon, will have a unique opportunity to explore market access issues faced by producers this Thursday, July 26, at an event called “La Lucha: The Farmer’s Fight for Access.”
The event is being presented by Portland-based green coffee importer Sustainable Harvest — which introduced the La Lucha sourcing and auction program earlier this year — along with oat milk maker Oatly and the host Buckman Coffee Factory. Yet the star of the event is likely to be Miguel Menendez, the third-generation coffee farmer who manages the eight farms owned by the Menendez family in El Salvador.
Buyers have long prized coffees from the Menendez estates, and the group has won multiple Cup of Excellence awards for its coffees. Yet like all farms, the Menendez’s are not immune to shifting and erratic markets, climate change, pest infestations and other potential income barriers from season to season.
Following a cup-matching competition featuring Menendez coffees, Menendez Jr. will be discussing some of the challenges many coffee farmers face in trying to maintain viable operations, according to Sustainable Harvest, while SH’s own Jamie Pockrandt will be discussing farmer-supportive relationships at origin between buyers and sellers. The event will offer an opportunity for an open question-and-answer session.