A Conversation with Nórida Lizeth Palomino
We recently spoke with Nórida Lizeth Palomino, our Land of Diversity Orisol coffee producer. As a woman in a mainly male-dominated industry, she shared her thoughts on how she got to where she is and how she sees the industry evolving.
1. Tell me about yourself and how you got into the coffee industry?
My name is Nórida Lizeth Palomino and I was born in Róvira, Tolima. My town has been a coffee producing region for many years. I am the third generation of my family that works with coffee. My grandfather and grandmother used to pick coffee to other farms. I have memories of my grandmother’s stories around coffee and the farms.
My husband comes from a coffee producing family as well, being producers for three generations.
When we got married, we decided to buy a new farm. This was 12 years ago, when we decided to have our own land to produce coffee. The farm was in bad condition, so we started to renovate the farm, improving the beneficio infrastructure, and the living conditions of the farm. After some years, we had a productive farm in which we want to produce specialty coffee.
2. How long have you been producing coffee?
I have been in the coffee world since I was a child, but I started working at Orisol farm 12 years ago.
3. What do you love the most about producing coffee?
What I like the most of the farm and producing coffee is the atmosphere that you feel when working there. When you are at the farm, you live in peace. The harmony of nature and taking care of the natural resources is part of my passion.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned producing coffee?
Producing coffee is not an easy work. You need to invest a lot of money and effort to produce coffee. The biggest lesson is that when producing specialty coffee with love and passion, you keep having energy to produce coffee. It's very important to be passionate to be able to produce high quality coffee, and therefore to receive higher prices.
Another important lesson is that we as Colombians have to drink good coffee, not the bad quality coffee that we are used to drinking. We need to know our product.
5. What are the challenges you face in the production industry?
Right now the main challenge is the price of coffee. We are having very low prices that don’t cover the production cost. We are very worried about this, as the prices drop and the prices for all the agricultural supplies are going up.
6. Can you talk to us about being a woman in a mainly male dominated industry?
It has been a very enriching process in which I have been able to show to my husband and men that work with us, that my work is very important for the farm. I am very organized and I have been able to show them my capabilities with actions and real results. There is no need to try to “convince”, I can speak with results.
Something that we have been able to do in our farm is to show how my work and my husband’s work is very important. We are able to complement and have a good farm working with excellent results. I do the accounting and managing people, as I am organized and as I am more sensitive than him to work with the pickers and employees of the farm.
7. What do you see for the future of coffee production?
We will keep producing coffee as we have grown because of coffee, and because it’s our passion. We have to look for the way of producing excellent coffees that can be paid higher than the standard coffee prices.
We will work with new varieties, new processes and improving every process. Coffee is something that we love, and it's impossible to leave.
To purchase Nórida's Orisol, click HERE