• Ten years of Direct Trade with El Canal

    June 05, 2023 2 min read

    Ten years of Direct Trade with El Canal James Coffee Co.
    Specialty grade coffee in Honduras has traveled a long and difficult road. In 1998, just as a small number of coffee farmers and exporters were finding their way into the American specialty coffee market, Honduras was devastated first by hurricane Mitch, and then by the storms and floods of 1999. In addition, most of the country’s coffee is produced by smallholders, and due to lack of infrastructure, many processes and dry their coffee themselves, then mix these small lots together and sell to exporters. It sounds neighborly, but the results can be disappointing in quality. That said, several factors have changed and resulted in an explosion of quality coffees from Honduras and in enthusiasm about Honduran coffees around the world.

    This is our first direct trade relationship farm and we have been working with them for 10 years. After a local exporter reached out to David, he traveled Santa Barbara region to source this coffee directly from Finca El Cañal from farmer Glennis Izaguirre. The 1.4 hectare farm is located in a mountainous region that produces ideal growing conditions, including plenty of shade and rain.

    Here's what founder David Kennedy has this to say about the relationship:

    "I don't really have the words to describe what having a direct connection and relationship with where the coffee comes from means to me. I just don't have the words... What I can say is that it's an incredibly eye opening experience to be there (at El Cañal), to shake the hands of those who are actually responsible for what is in our cups back here at home... How even being so far away from there, not just physically, but culturally, we can positively affect their lives. It's truly an exhilarating and real partnership."