ENERGYACCESS When Coffee is Made in Enel

Published on Monday, 7 September 2015

There is an innovative and sustainable product that is enjoying a lot of success on the market and is 'Made in Ene'. But it’s not a renewable technology or an energy efficiency solution: it's a coffee, of the arabica type, with an intense taste and full of fragrance. It might sound peculiar that a global energy company should enter the market of the most popular beverage in the world - diversification is fine, but there are limits – but nonetheless in Peru the Enel Group company Edegel is at the centre of a project based on coffee, its production and diffusion on the domestic market in that country and elsewhere. An innovative and sustainable project described by The Guardian under its editorial partnership with Enel, which is focussed on access to energy and the new models of sustainable development that are growing thanks to energy.

The CuribambaCoffee project has been conceived within the construction of a 200 MW hydropower plant straddling the Comas, Uchubamba and Tulumayo river basins in the Junín region. Long before plant construction work began, Edegel started a close dialogue with the local populations aimed at identifying with them the main needs of social and economic development in the area. Thanks to these exchanges, which began in 2012, several issues arose: road improvement, building new sewers, investing in education, culture and sports.

Edegel has launched various initiatives aimed to meet these needs, including an unusual one that involves coffee. The local farmers, who live in one of the most fertile areas for the cultivation of this plant, were not satisfied with their harvests. Due to the lack of adequate machinery, infrastructure and technical expertise, the beans that were produced were not suitable for the market and many of them abandoned their activity. The Curibamba Coffee project, which was launched in 2013 to meet this need, brought experts to the Jaujae Concepción areas to provide onsite training in production and constant cultivation monitoring techniques.

A material and direct support that currently involves some 180 families who have joined the project and has led to the cultivation of 25 new hectares of land and the planting of 175,000 new coffee plants. Curibamba Coffee is being sold in Peru thanks to an agreement between Edegel and Bisetti, the country's major retailer, has been defined as the'jewel of Peru's central forest' by the Sommelier magazine – and is now starting to be appreciated in the United States.