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Good agricultural practices- Organic production and pasteurized cascara


An example in sustainable practices

Ricardo Perez Barrantes and the brothers Marvin and Felipe Rodriguez are the partnership behind Helsar de Zarcero. 

They own the Santa Lucía farm and the mill which was established in 2004. The mill also serves a few dozen farms in the region. Both the farm and their mill are exemplary of sustainable practices. Although in the past it was a multiply certified organic farm, they decided not to use the certifications anymore, but have continued to use organic practices. They cultivate a mixture of Caturra, Catuai, Villalobos, SL28 and Gesha varietals.


Helsar advocates for environmentally sustainable practices. They use both collected rain water and fresh water to process cherries in the eco-pulpers. Each year they plant around 700 trees to offset the carbon their equipment produces.

Since 2012 together with the University of Costa Rica they have researched the possibility of transforming coffee pulp waste into creating food-grade cascara using modern technology and pasteurization. The process destroys or deactivates microorganisms and enzymes that contribute to food spoilage or risk of disease, including vegetative bacteria, but keeps all the health benefits present in the coffee skin.


In an interesting role reversal, the coffees used here were picked specifically to produce cascara—the coffee seeds are the "by-product" and not the other way around.



Located in Llano Bonito of Naranjo, West Valley of Costa Rica, the plantation is recognised for its sustainable coffee production.


Altitude: 1700 above sea level ​

Varieties: Caturra, Catuai, Villalobos, SL28, Gesha


Processes: washed, honey, natural.

Other crops grown: avocado, lemon, banana, apricot, corn


direct trade

We started our relationship with Helsar by purchasing his pastaurized cascara. From waste to superfood, this innovative pasteurization process ensured thorough sterilization of the skins, produces the cleanest cascara in the market!

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