Finca El Platanillo, Stuardo has managed to create an environment compliant with certifications and with his own personal quest to find the balance between the ecosystem and a productive coffee plantation as a wholesome unit. Close monitoring of flora and fauna has led to a rich environment where the ecosystem and the plantation planning go hand in hand. Protecting the ecosystem is a principle that have guided all the constant improvement that the farm undertakes each year. Because this principle was always priority, by the time certification programs such as RFA (Rainforest Alliance), Starbucks’ “Café Practices”, 4C, etc. came into existence; Finca El Platanillo was already in compliance with most of the requirements to obtain these certifications. Keeping Rainforest Alliance since 2005 to this day, and pioneering RFA’s Climate Module as the first farm in the world to implement this once extra sustainable program.
The community in the farm has access to their own garden to grow
vegetables, and fresh water is also provided to people living in the farm & nearby communities. Education, another important principle, has been a top priority at Finca El Platanillo. The farm had a school for children who lived there since the farm was first started around 1978, but the idea became more refined, and evolved into a partnership with a long term client for the creation of the Nuevo Platanillo School in 2002. The school is located on land originally owned by the farm, which was donated to the school. This project has continuously evolved, and the school has been upgraded many times. The school has a computer lab which has Internet access where the children of the farm and nearby community are taught the basics of computing from an early age. Lastly, the farm has engaged in pioneering a new education program in conjuction with Funcafe which was awarded SCA Sustainability Award in 2017 for the “Bachillerato en Ciencias y Letras con Diplomado en Café” program for which El Platanillo and its sister farm El Panorama are host farms.
Regarding the coffee itself, high quality and productivity have always been the goal. Stuardo, has been constantly studying and researching varietals that will adapt at El Platanillo’s specific conditions. For this reason, many years ago he started a varietal garden where all varietals (around 100 different ones) are deeply studied both for their production capabilities, as well as adaptation to the microclimate, and cup characteristics. Varieties that are found ideal for the farm are thoroughly tested and then plotted as a new plantation.