Honduras – COMSA

Round flag of Honduras
COMSA farmers depulping coffee.

Organization

Founded in 2001, comprised of 620 members

Geographic Region

Marcala, Honduras

Altitude

1200-1600 meters above sea level

Varietals

Arabica - Catuai, Caturra, Lempira, Pacas

Certifications

Organic; FLO; SPP

Coffee Profile

Citric acidity, medium body, honey, mango and bitter chocolate flavors.

Current Lot

HOM2317 (click icon to view)

Relationship Started

2016

Amount Purcased

1521.20 lbs from this lot

Café Orgánico Marcala (COMSA) was established in December 2001 to create new development opportunities for small-scale coffee farmers in the region. Initially, 69 small-scale farmers of Lenca origin united under a rural credit union to sell their coffee collectively.

At that time, the region predominantly used conventional (chemical) farming methods and sold coffee to local intermediaries, often at prices below production costs. One of COMSA's primary goals was to explore and promote new approaches, shifting from conventional to organic production and from commercial to specialty markets.

The initial transition to organic farming presented significant challenges, as yields typically drop dramatically during the shift from conventional practices. Many members became discouraged and left the organization. In response, the COMSA Board of Directors and technical team sought new intensive organic methods to support the transition, forming a strategic alliance with the Corporación Educativa para el Desarrollo Costarricense (CEDECO).

With CEDECO's support, COMSA staff and members learned innovative practices to transform their farms into integrated organic systems, emphasizing soil and water conservation and the preservation of local plant and wildlife. As members began to see improved coffee yields and better family relationships, COMSA's membership grew rapidly.

Members increasingly embraced experimentation with innovative organic practices. Their organic evolution is as follows: 2001 – use of organic materials; 2006 – application of microorganisms in compost; 2010 – exploring the use of minerals; 2012 – production of fermented live solutions; 2013 – enhancing the knowledge base of their technical team and members with strong educational programs for youth and women's groups.

By 2015, COMSA exported approximately 53,000qq (140 containers) of high-quality green coffee, known for the unique regional characteristics of Marcala: medium body, pronounced acidity, and notes of floral, lemongrass, peach, and wild berries. For the upcoming harvest, COMSA expects to export around 100,000qq (240,000).

To ensure the highest quality control, COMSA manages its own wet and dry processing plants and holds organic certification with Biolatina. They export under FLO, SPP, Denominación de Origen Marcala (DOP), and UTZ certifications.

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