Mexico’s history with coffee began in the late 18th century when coffee was first introduced to the country. Their first exports were in 1802. Today Mexico is one of the largest producers of coffee in the world and a leader of organic coffee. Sixty percent of the world’s organic coffee production comes from Mexico.
Coffee farms in Mexico are sixty-two acres or less and are considered relatively small. The farmers are generally members of a local cooperative that provides facilities to process the coffee after harvesting and help bring the farmer a fair price for their coffee. Most co-operatives are Fair Trade Certified. The cooperatives serve as a farming learning center and help provide social sevices such as schools and hospitals.
In the 1989 with the collapse of the ICA (International Coffee Agreement) the prices of coffee plummeted and farmers could no longer afford fertilizers and pesticides. The Mexican coffee farmers adapted to organic growing. The cooperatives helped the farmers by sharing information on successful organic growing. After the price crisis Mexico remained mainly an organic growing region.
Traditionally Mexican coffees, known for their mildness, were used in blends. In recent years the Mexican Coffee Council has worked hard to increase awareness of Mexico’s coffees and their diverse characteristics. While the Coffee Council was increasing awareness of Mexico’s coffee quality consumers were demanding more single origin coffee. The result of the council’s efforts and consumer demand have resulted in improved Mexican coffee reputation.