The SICOBI group (Sistema Comunitario para el Resguardo y Manejo de la Biodiversidad, or Community System for Protecting and Managing Biodiversity) operates in the Sierra Sur in Oaxaca, Mexico. Founded in 2010 by biologists working with the non-governmental organization GAIA (Grupo Autónomo para la Investigación Ambiental, or the Autonomous Group for Environmental Study), SICOBI nowmanages coffee growers from eight different communities.
While not all coffee producers in the communities managed by SICOBI send their coffee to the organization, SICOBI establishes policies and rules for preserving biodiversity and the environment for the entire territory in which it operates. Trained biologists work in each community and pass on technical data to local councils informing how to best utilize the area’s natural resources.
The organization helps to manage over 500 coffee farms, accounting for 1500 hectares of coffee production, but only a small percentage of this coffee is sold to SICOBI for use on the commercial market. SICOBI is focused on producing high quality lots that receive a premium price, differentiating between more and less developed coffee farms. Those at the higher end of this range have their coffee dry milled and marketed by SICOBI, while those at the lower end receive technical support to improve their crop and access to domestic markets for their coffee.
Farmers in this region predominantly grow Pluma Hidalgo coffee plants, a type of Typica, but Caturra and Mundo Novo are also present. They exclusively produce washed coffees, and normally ferment in wooden tanks before sun drying the coffees on patios. A unique combination of environmental factors and the atypical fermentation vessels lead to a distinctive cup profile with fruit forward flavors like green apple and plum alongside rich chocolate and caramel notes with a full, rounded body. Look for this coffee in our cafes, our online store, and in select area grocery stores.