ASOANEI (ANEI) is an association of Indigenous and small farmer agro-ecological producers from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serrania del Perija. ANEI was founded in 1996 with a mission of creating community-based organic farming programs while promoting the preservation of indigenous and peasant cultures in this north-eastern region of Colombia.
ASOANEI is made up of more than 600 indigenous families belonging to four distinct ethnic groups in 32 sub-regions . These are the Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas and Kankuamos, along with small farmers who share a holistic view of forests, rivers, mountains and animal protection through the creation and implementation of sustainable initiatives. Through the conservation and care of natural resources, they seek to improve their living conditions and preserve their ancestral heritage. The production and sale of ANEI organic coffee is done within the context of harmony and respect for the planet . ASOANEI works to improve living conditions for its members by i ntroducing food security and education projects in order to protect the tradition s and values of their communities by reconstructing ceremonial sites and protecting their traditional elders– the Mamos . They are deeply committed to maintaining the balance between people and nature creating environmental protection programs using and promoting integrated solid waste management practices, soil recovery, and wildlife preservation.
Their excellent heirloom coffees include Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon, and Caturra. The Coffee Rust fungus that devastated much of Colombia’s southern and central production was not felt nearly as severely in the northern Sierra Madre coffee region. Because of this ANEI has been able to preserve the vast majority of its heirloom coffee.