WELCOME TO TLAKO!
Welcome to TLAKO! We are glad you are here and hope you will enjoy this beautiful coffee as much as we do.
For many years, the coffee-producing communities living and working on the Tacaná volcano (Chiapas, Mexico) were at the mercy of intermediaries, commonly known in Mexico as coyotes. Their production had resulted in meager yields per hectare, and to make it worse, a common coffee plant disease known as rust (roya) hit hard the region decreasing production to a minimum. The Tacaná producers were mainly impoverished, unable to send their children to school since they had to help in the plantations.
Restaurantes TOKS, a casual dining restaurant chain in Mexico, developed in 2003 an initiative called “proyectos productivos”, productive projects, to help marginalized communities create high-quality products and sell them at a fair market price without intermediaries. TOKS approached the Tacaná communities in 2012, and in 2016 started to buy their coffee for more than 200 units around Mexico. By helping the communities to improve their practices to become more productive, and finding financing to update their equipment, today, the community is thriving to its potential!
Nowadays, these communities can live from their work, send their children to school, and have a fruitful life. Their productivity per hectare has increased dramatically. There are no more intermediaries; they have the freedom and power to make their own decisions to grow their businesses and become more prosperous. Their coffee is 100% organic, has obtained a Rainforest Alliance certification, developed a blockchain platform in partnership with TOKS, the University of Notre Dame, and SIMBA, and has become a case study at Harvard University. A book about its story is available here.
We visited the communities for the first time in 2015 and immediately fell in love with the people, the place, and the project. Since then, we tested the green coffee for the communities, developed an alternative Cáscara (coffee husk) tea project, and imported and roasted the coffee to and in Switzerland with our partners without intermediaries.
Today, we bring this fantastic coffee to your home, and hope you’ll become part of this beautiful story!