PARTNER´S NAME : MIRIAM VALLEJO
FINCA VALLEJITO STORY
Along the highlands that surround Ecuador’s main city of Quito, you find some great quality- minded coffee growers. One of such producers is Ricardo Vargas with his farm Vallejito. Ricardo’s story in coffee started some years back when he was working as a food engineer in the private sector. Being there, he always got asked by his father-in-law to help him with the processing and tree plantation of his coffee farm. This, in addition to his father-in-law ideals of creating jobs for the rural areas through coffee and seeing the potential of specialty coffee, created in Ricardo the passion and desire to have his own farm. Time passed and seven years ago, he decided to start his own farm with his wife and named it in memory of his father-in-law who had pass away. Since he started it was always about specialty coffee and attention to detail. For example, when processing coffee he keeps a record of temperature and brix grades to achieve the right fermentation and subsequently dries the coffee for 3 to 4 weeks for a slow drying that allows for the flavor to develop.
For Ricardo, specialty coffee means more care and improving the general infrastructure as in drying stations, wet mill and looking for the right trees for shade. This attention to detail has brought more income in return a better quality of life for his family. It is and has been a pride for him what he has been able to build with his family and being able to make a piece of land productive with his coffee known worldwide. His current challenge is to maintain profitability and quality, while having the goal of increasing the area of coffee, plant some sidra variety and renew 30% of the crop.