Distant Lands Coffee owns and manages six farms in Costa Rica, including Hacienda La Minita and Hacienda Rio Negro. The company also owns three mills–two in Costa Rica and one in Colombia.
The Distant Lands farms listed below are Rainforest Alliance Certified™. All of our mills are Chain of Custody certified to sell coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Hacienda La Minita, Tarrazú, Costa Rica
Located in the lush Tarrazú region of Costa Rica, our flagship farm is the renowned Hacienda La Minita, one of the world’s premier coffee-growing estates.
- Coffee is grown between 3,750 ft and 5,000 ft on 800 acres of the 1,200 acre farm
- On the south side of the farm, 200 acres is set aside as a natural forest preserve to conserve natural forestland and wildlife corridors
- The farm’s 1.7 million shade-grown coffee trees are managed sustainably by 80 full-time employees
- Farm employees earn industry-leading wages, receive free housing, a savings-matching program, and free onsite preventative medical and dental care
- The farm is Rainforest Alliance Certified. Sustainable practices also include manual weeding (no herbicides), organic pest control (no pesticides) and bird-friendly, shade grown coffee trees
In 2009, Hacienda La Minita was Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Hacienda Rio Negro, Coto Brus Region, Costa Rica
Near the Panama border, Hacienda Rio Negro is located in southern Costa Rica. The farm is adjacent to Parque Internacional La Amistad, the largest forest-protected area in Costa Rica, and is a pillar of sustainable agriculture.
- Coffee is grown between 3,600 ft and 4,125 ft on 700 acres of the 1,700 acre farm
- 1.4 million shade-grown coffee trees are cultivated by 50 full-time employees
- The farm includes 815 acres of natural forest preserve, and 150 acres of reforestation
- 13 housing units house permanent staff within the farm. Additionally, five large seasonal staff quarters provide housing for pickers
- Farm employees have a matching savings fund, low cost loans to assist workers in need, and free onsite preventative medical and dental care. Daycare facilities and school uniforms are provided for children
In 2001, Hacienda Rio Negro became the first Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farm in Costa Rica.
Our Mills (Beneficios)
Milling is a crucial part of the quality chain. The company owns and operates three coffee mills: two on our farms in Costa Rica, and a third in Colombia. Our coffee mills lead the industry in sustainable best practices; all Distant Lands mills are chain of custody certified to offer products from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.
Beneficio del Rio Tarrazú, Hacienda La Minita, Costa Rica
Located on the Tarrazú River, our Beneficio del Rio Tarrazú coffee mill uses clean, hydroelectric power generated on the farm.
- Awarded the Bandera Ecologica and proclaimed a “protector of the environment” by the government of Costa Rica for its progressive design and operation
- Onsite hydropower provides clean electricity to run the mill. In fact, over the course of a calendar year, we are net producers of electricity. Because the mill generates more hydroelectricity than we use, we are able to feed clean energy back into the grid
- Water-conserving techniques exceed governmental standards, ensuring health of our watershed systems
- Specially designed biomass furnaces provide energy to dry coffee
In 2009, Beneficio Rio Tarrazú was Chain of Custody certified to sell coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Beneficio Rio Negro, Hacienda Rio Negro, Costa Rica
Located at the bottom of the valley at an altitude of 3,600 ft, Beneficio Rio Negro is a state-of-the-art mill, combining traditional and modern technologies.
- Powered by clean energy, the mill runs an on-site 200kw hydroelectric generator
- Low water use demucilagers are used for depulping and processing prior to washing
- Coffee beans are dried using the same biomass furnace technology introduced at Beneficio Rio Tarrazú
- In 1997, Distant Lands Coffee was awarded the Bandera Blanca by the government of Costa Rica in recognition for our contribution to ecologically sustainable coffee processing, and the President of Costa Rica honored the mill for helping Costa Rican coffee farmers
In 2001, Beneficio Rio Negro was Chain of Custody certified to sell coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Empresas de Antioquia, Antioquia Region, Colombia
Our newest mill is in the Antioquia Region of northern Colombia in the picturesque town of Jardin. This innovative mill produces some of the best coffee in all of Colombia.
- Nestled in the mountains of northern Colombia, Empresas de Antioquia is a “Trilladora”, or dry mill. It is one of the premier processing facilities for specialty coffees in Latin America
- In Colombia, Distant Lands purchases parchment coffee from a network of local farmers who meet our quality standards. We reward growers for high quality coffee (more than other mills in the region), and support them with ongoing agronomic and technical assistance
- Distant Lands also provides financial assistance to local Rainforest Alliance Certified producers to uphold their annual certification and auditing requirements
- We are proud to have helped rebuild and renovate a number of primary schools in this area, where coffee producing families send their children
In 2010, Empresas de Antioquia was Chain of Custody certified to sell coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.