Cooperativa Agrícola Integral La Nueva Era, R.L. is located in the village of Jumaytepeque, near Nueva Santa Rosa city. Falling under the Fraijanes Plateau type coffees, a higher potassium level in the soil tends to bring extra body to these coffees. Fraijanes is it’s own distinct region and actually one of the first areas to grow coffee in Guatemala. Volcan Jumaytepeque forms part of the chain of volcanoes in the area, though is not really active, and the village where the coop is based lies in the foothills of the volcano.
Nueva Era have two annexes, one for washed coffees and the other for naturals. The President of the annex is Marlon Perez, who manages the operation alongside legal representative Don Ronmero.
However, the cooperative involves all its 32-member producers in decision-making processes, such as education, agronomy, and production. Member producers receive an advanced payment to assist with the harvest, then a secondary payment when the processed coffee arrives in the warehouse. Training is also given to all member producers and assistance is provided by the technical team.
The coffee delivered to the Nueva Era Natural annex is grown solely by Finca Tololoche. The farm is owned and run by a three generation family: Jamie Sanchez, his father Don Fernando and son Fernando. The farm is located on Jumaytepeque, a mountain overlooking the cooperative, and is 50 hectares in size.
For the natural processed coffee, time under the sun is affected by the altitude. Farmers drying their cherries at a beneficio around 1000masl find it will take 10 to 12 days for the coffee to be ready; those with higher altitude facilities can expect an extra 5 days for the correct drying to be reached. For this lot then, cherries picked between 22-26 Brix are washed, then dried on the patio for 4 days without any turning or moving. Following this they are moved 6 – 8 times each day for another 4 days or so, before final drying to required moisture levels.
The dried cherry is then collected and transported to the nearest warehouse the co-operative owns, before being transported to the dry mill facilities of Fedecocagua in Palin.