The Eleta Group’s Café Eleta, founded in 1978 by Fernando Eleta, is today a reference in its sector, firstly for the quality of the coffee it grows and secondly for its sustainable tourism offer.
The Eleta Group has 430 hectares full of rich nature. It is located in the Highlands, a region in the district of Chiriqui, in the west of the country (near the border with Costa Rica). In addition, next to the farm is the La Amistad International Park (PILA), declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 for its abundant biodiversity. It is an experience for lovers or those who want to discover sustainable tourism.
Grupo Eleta and its example for Panamanian tourism
The farm offers a tour in which you can see the nurseries, the coffee plantations, how they harvest, the processing, the roasting and even the final packaging that arrives to your home. In addition, you can enjoy a coffee tasting to recognize the different aromas and flavors of the varieties of coffee grown in the Eleta Group’s coffee factory, including the famous Geisha coffee. Only for very small groups there is lodging service in the main house. This is a unique experience of sustainable tourism in Panama that is undoubtedly an attraction for tourists.
Today, Café Eleta cultivates 185 hectares of Arabica coffee of the following varieties: Bourbon, Catuaí, Caturra, Geisha, Maragogype, Pacamara and Typica, and offers Peaberry coffee by special order. It should be recalled that Geisha coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world, the Geisha coffee for which up to US$140 per cup of coffee has been paid.
This segmentation is due to the fact that the coffee culture in Panama is based on the elaboration of coffee by specialty and not in mass production. Grupo Eleta has been able to create and maintain this culture. In 2003 this group became the first coffee company in Panama to become a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative that promotes social responsibility, one of the pillars of sustainability.
A company with sustainability in all its areas
The Eleta Group, through Café de Eleta, has the Child Labor Eradication Program, in which it has the collaboration of Casa Esperanza, a specialized non-governmental organization. Thanks to this program, the children of Ngäbe-Buglé workers attend a school to continue their schooling and prevent them from entering the coffee plantations, mainly during the harvest season. In addition, they have medical care and nutritional supplements.
Since 2016, Grupo Eleta Coffee became the first coffee farm in Panama to be certified by the YO SÍ CUMPLO Program of the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development for its good practices. Another action of the company that fits now more than ever in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030.
Café Eleta is not only an example of sustainability for Panama’s tourism because of the way in which coffee is grown and its responsible professional activity, in which employees’ children are also cared for. Its wastewater system is treated organically, so that it is composted and converted into fertilizer.