Social and Environmental Responsibility
In Agua Caliente Mill: we are constantly looking to reduce our water consumption. We make every effort to treat coffee wastewater, extracting solids and putting the rest in oxidizing pools to permit evaporation and facilitate safe absorption into the earth.
The remaining pulp is treated with digestive enzymes to accelerate the decomposition process, thereby reducing weight, risk of pests and converting it into excellent organic fertilizer for our fields.
Coffee plantations run by J.J. BORJA NATHAN, S.A. are located close to small towns near Ataco and Apaneca, in Ahuachapán, and provide employment to their inhabitants. Especially during picking season, many people from those towns help out and so we provide temporary employment for over 500 families. We respect the human rights and well-being of local workers so we provide support for local social events as well as an improvement plan for local quality of life conditions (safety and hygiene) in our worker’s homes.
Hiring of local permanent staff is done by our general administration, no hiring is done through third parties. No discrimination regarding political, religious, social or cultural beliefs is allowed when hiring new workers. No goods or money is received in exchange for granting employment.
INTEGRATED PLAN FOR PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL
It is vitally important to maintain coffee production systems that are in harmony with our natural, economic and social environment, so our Integrated Pest and Disease Plan includes exacting planning, execution and control elements.
In order to combat pests and disease effectively it is important to:
• Identify the causing agents through phyto-sanitary diagnostics
• Determine the state of coffee plants throughout the year
• Take samples to determine infestation levels and determine control measures to be implemented.
• Implement cultural activities that prevent or minimize causing agents for pests and diseases.
• Take care to sweep while picking the coffee cherry to avoid leaving cherries in the ground where pests can grow and feed.
• Use baited traps for pests that can be controlled through ecological controls.
• Use chemical controls are used as a last resort only in cases where infestation levels are critical.
SOIL IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
It’s very important to keep a good soil balance, since it permits
both plants and microbial flora that are part of the ecosystem to
flourish and contribute to their own well-being.
We hold yearly cultural activities to improve soil conditions, for example every year we control erosion by planting “living barriers”, and we perform yearly soil analysis to monitor its composition and determine what fertilizers or corrections are needed. These corrections are very important, and every year we compare and contrast results obtained through soil analysis.
Wildlife is also part of our environment, so our local administration
for the plantation makes continuous efforts to raise our worker’s
awareness in caring for local fauna.
Our plantations are home to many species including: Armadillo, cotuza, ocelots, mountain lions, squirrels, opossums, rabbits, weasels, skunks, moles, as well as varied reptile species such as lizards, iguanas, “zumbadora” snakes, coral snakes, “chichicuba”, “bejuquillo”, boa constrictor, rattlesnakes, etc. We can find a great variety of birds, some of them endangered species. Among them are magpies, ravens, owls, “chiltotas”, hawks, torogoz, chonta, guacalchía, pijuyo, cheje, sparrows, “gallina mona”, guacocha, siguamonta, chachas, partridges, pigeons, doves, piscoy, etc.
Aside from “NO HUNTING” signs spread through the plantations, watchmen patrol the fields to protect them and local fauna. Certain trees have been planted that provide food and shelter to certain species. of animals
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION
The local flora is of great value to our plantations, so we look for ways to preserve existing plants and restore those that are in danger of extinction. We can find plant species such as: cuje de río, pepeto peludo, cuje cuadrado, cuje nacaspirol, soursops, cypress, cashal, cerezo de la reina, San Andrés, palm, teverindo, lluvia de oro, caimito, conacaste, mahogany, ujushte, carao, cedar, brasil, rose-apple, nin, chaquirrio, quebracho (“break-axe”), quina, zapote, avocado, nispero, macadamia, mamón, soguillo, mamey, maquilishuat, mano de león and others.
Every year new trees are planted and existing trees are maintained. There are areas that are set aside for the proliferation of epiphytes or that serve as food or shelter to animal species, these are protected from logging and from extracting epiphytes.