Fincas Mierisch Nicaragua & Honduras
The Mierisch family, headed up by Doctor Erwin Mierisch and his children Erwin, Eleane and Steve own eleven farms across Nicaragua and Honduras. The Mierisch family are dedicated to producing exceptional coffee and are champions of keeping community and sustainability at the heart of every aspect of their operation.
In the 1980s, the Sandinista Government confiscated the family coffee farms, forcing the entire family into exile in the United States of America. While in America, Doctor Erwin continued to practice Obstetrics, and his daughter Eleane trained as a nurse practitioner specialising in women’s healthcare. The family farms were returned to them in 1991/1992 by the Nicaraguan Government, and most of the family returned to oversee their recuperation from abandonment.
The illness of her mother Maria Ligia McEwan brought Eleane back from the US, and from the moment she began tasting the flavours found in a cup of coffee, she was inspired. Eleane wanted to know more about the farms’ agricultural management, so she learnt each step of the value/ production chain.
She learnt directly from her father and was taught everything from picking cherries to the exportation of raw green coffee. Eleane now shares her knowledge, passion and experience with speciality coffee professionals globally by consulting and being involved in the Cup of Excellence. She is a true inspiration, and is a woman demonstrating true leadership in what is a very male dominated industry.
The largest of the Mierisch family farms is Finca El Limoncillo in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. At 171 hectares, this farm has nine waterfalls, and is home to 60 families full-time. The employees at the Mierisch family farms are some of the happiest and well looked after workers we have come across in our coffee travels. The Mierisch family fiercely protect the wellbeing of all of their staff, and
in return, they are rewarded with a huge amount of respect.
Staff get paid up to 30% above minimum wage, have free housing, receive free electricity from the hydroelectric generator linked to one of the farm waterfalls and during picking, all workers receive free meals. There are free daycare facilities for families, healthcare facilities, a visiting nurse and a full- time teacher on site too. The family also ensure that ongoing training and education is provided to their employees and have created a culture based around equality, open communication and team work - their motto is: “Everyone has a voice”.
We consider ourselves very lucky to have a long-term and strong direct relationship with the Mierisch family. We have visited almost every year since (only missing one visit in 2013). Our 2019 Special Reserve was sourced from Fincas El Limoncillo and we are proud to be linked to a family so dedicated to sustainable practices and who understand the importance of both people and planet.