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23. June 2018

Finca Irlanda – Coffee from Mexiko

In the mountains of the Mexican state of Chiapas, the world's oldest organic agricultural project is situated: Finca Irlanda. Since 1928, the year in which the Demeter trade mark was launched, finest Arabica coffee has been grown here according to biodynamic cultivation methods on an area of 300 ha.
Finca Irlanda

Unlike conventional plantations, Finca Irlanda relies on the combination of coffee crops and nature. Big shade trees protect the delicate coffee plants from solar radiation while at the same time their root systems protect the soil against erosion. Furthermore, groundcover plants are planted as an additional
measure against erosion.

For Finca Irlanda, “avoidance” is the most sensible way of protecting the environment. For a long time, the large amounts of wastewater which could not just be channelled off due to its organic contamination were a problem. The water needed for processing is abundantly available in this rainy region. In order to drastically reduce the amounts of wastewater, Finca Irlanda invested in a new plant for coffee processing. The now much smaller amount of wastewater which is left over after processing the coffee – a process during which the pulp is removed from the seed (the bean) – is fed into a biogas plant in which the organic part is reused. After passing through a multilevel plant purification system, the purified water is used to irrigate the young nursery plants. 

To the people on Finca Irlanda, environmental protection also means active protection of animals and plants: About ten percent of the plantation is specially protected as a nature reserve. This area is well-known among biologists for its biodiversity.

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