In 2011, the government of Colombia passed the Victims and Land Restitution Law 1448. This law was put in place to help families in Colombia that had been displaced from their home and land over the last three decades due to violence. The passing of this law led to the formation of the Unidad de Restitucion de Tierras (Land Restitution Unit) that was established to help manage the claims from families around the country, and help bring justice and a resolution to the crimes and transgressions that happened against them.
Since the Uidad de Restitucion was put in place, the organization has helped thousands of families regain possession of their land. The community of Tablon de Gómez in the the region of Nariño has been one of the communities that the Unidad de Restitutcoin de Tierras has spent countless time working with families, and in this community alone, hundreds of families have regained their homes and land.
Working with the families here and around the country though, the Unidad de Restitucion de Tieras organization also recognized that once families regain their land, that they often times need assistance in establishing their business and trade again. To further the positive impact, the organization has been investing in training and helping develop markets for these families- from honey, to cocoa, to coffee.
This coffee from producers in Tablon de Gómez not only represents an import initiative for social justice and social progress for Colombia- but the sheer quality of the coffee coming from the families in the project is true testament to their strength. Undid de Restitution de Tierras calls this coffee and the other products that have come from these families the "Frutas de Restitucion" and hopes that what they have started will continue to flourish.
To learn more about Unidad de Restitution de Tierras and its impact in Colombia go to: https://www.restituciondetierras.gov.co/
Dark Fruit, Mild Citrus, Pecan
The farmers in this area have their own setup for processing coffee. They use small pulpers and fermentation tanks and create small batches of coffee day by day as it is picked from their farm. Fermentation is often 18-36 hours depending on weather, and farmers here use dry fermentation (meaning they do not submerge the coffee fully in water during fermentation). Coffee is dried on concrete patios, solar driers, and raised beds ranging in time from 4-10 days.
Nariño is situated in the far southwestern corner of Colombia, bordering the Pacific Ocean on it western shores, and Ecuador directly to it's south. Nariño is one of the 32 departments of the Colombia, and with topography ranging from the coast, to the plains, and then into the staggering elevations of the volcanic Andean Mountains (where the coffee is grown), it is one of the most diverse regions of the country.
The region of Nariño boast some of the highest elevations in all of Colombia for coffee, with communities often averaging over 1,900 m.a.s.l., and even a few farms hitting an incredible 2,300-2,400 m.a.s.l. The incredible elevation combined with its Pacific Ocean influenced weather patterns, and a high level of daily sun exposure, make Nariño a region almost unparalleled in Colombia for the quality of its coffee. The coffee from Nariño is consider so distinct and desirable, that in 2013 Nariño became the first Denomination of Origin in Colombia. This is a distinction meant to have marketing value to it, but it also means Colombia recognizes the value of the coffee so much here that the have committed to protect the quality, unique characteristics, the origin itself, and traditions of making the coffee here.
While the country of Colombia no doubt recognizes the quality of the coffee from Nariño, the recognition of the quality extends far beyond it's own borders, with impressive winning streaks in international tasting competitions. This is highlighted by the Cup of Excellence. A coffee from Nariño took 1st and 2nd place in the inaugural Colombia Cup of Excellence in 2005 and since then, coffees from Nariño have never been far from the top. Nariño took 1st place in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2017. Nariño took 2nd place in 2006 and 2014 and keep in mind the other years (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016) there was no COE competition for southern Colombia and Nariño. With a streak like this it is no wonder why this region is so sought after for it's quality.
Some more History of Nariño....
The department of Nariño was officially established in 1904, and was named after Antonio Nariño, a writer, general, and politician, who was an early advocate for Colombia's independence from Spain and considered one of the heroes from the early 1800's. Before the 1800's (known as pre-Columbian era) Nariño historically was home to many indigenous tribes in the country, notably: the Pastos, Quillacingas, Tumacos, Sindaguas, Abades, Nulpes, Chapanchicas, Iscuandés, Telembíes, Inga, and many more. Still today, Nariño is one of the regions in Colombia that has the greatest number of indigenous communities. This is a history and culture that many people from Nariño are deeply proud of.
When talking more of the modern history in Colombia, and Nariño in particular - it is impossible not to talk about last half century - and the guerrilla military groups, coca production, and the impact on the country. Communities throughout Colombia and in particular from Nariño, were cut off from legal trade avenues and under the control of guerrilla military groups. Entire communities of Nariño are/and were quite dangerous and active in illicit trade. However, over the last decade things have slowly been changing, and greater hope for long term stability came with the 2016 peace treaty with the FARC and the Colombian government. Today, much of Colombia (not all), and even much of Nariño are consider quite safe, which is a far cry from how things were seen just a decade ago.
Unidad de Restuticion de Tierras and Condor Specialty Coffee Exporters