He managed it until 1985. In 1985 the farm management was passed to Samuel’s youngest son, Mr. Stuardo Coto. Since then, management has focused on the ecosystem, the community, coffee quality and productivity.
“At 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 has guided all the constant improvement that the farm undertakes each year. Because this principle was always a 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 from 2005 to this day, and pioneering RFA’s Climate Module as the first farm in the world to implement this once “extra sustainable” now RFA’s standard program.
The community in the farm has access to keep their own garden to grow vegetables, fresh water is also provided to people living in the farm, and also the nearby communities. Education, another important principle, has been at the top of priorities 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 and the community. This project has continuously evolved, and the school has been upgraded many times. The school has a computer lab with Internet access where the children of the farm and nearby community are taught the basics of computing from an early age. More recently, the farm has engaged in pioneering a new education program in conjunction 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 for this program.
Regarding the coffee itself, El Paraíso is a young plantation of different varieties selected with special focus on exotic cup characteristics. For many years, 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 150 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. El Paraíso is the culmination of many of these trials where only the best performing varietals were selected. The San Roque lot is a specially selected lot that blends 60% SL28, 30% (our most floral) Bourbon, and 10% Java. This combination provides a great balance overall with the added touch of the florality which brings you back to the smell of the farm. Come visit to find out.”
-Samuel and Angela Coto
Region: San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta, San Marcos
Farm: El Paraíso
Farmer/Grower: Stuardo Coto and Samuel Coto
Altitude: 1300 m.a.s.l.
Density: 1.20 g/ml
Harvest Date: February, 2022
Arrival Date: September, 2022
Grade: SHB, Rainforest Alliance