An agricultural engineer with an MA and PhD in tropical agroecosystems from the College of Postgraduates, Esteban Escamilla Prado’s doctoral dissertation concerned the study of organic coffee quality in Mexico. Since 1987, he has been a research professor at the Eastern University Regional Center (CRUO) of the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACh), in Huatusco, Veracruz. Formerly the director of CRUO, he is currently research director at the National Center for Coffee Research, Innovation and Technological Development (Cenacafé). Aside from his research and teaching responsibilities, he dedicates part of his time to training and outreach work, teaching courses and offering certificate programs on comprehensive sustainable coffee cultivation, organic agriculture, biodiversity, sustainable land use, and agroforestry. Having ample experience in coffee cultivation, his research includes a range of topics: plant genetic resources, genetic improvement, coffee growing systems and technologies, economic diversification, edible insects, and worm farming. He has directed and advised numerous undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations. He has also published numerous books, articles and manuals, as well as presented many papers in local, national and international events.
Throughout his professional career, Escamilla Prado has participated in diverse activities related to comprehensive sustainable coffee cultivation in Mexico and various coffee-producing countries in Central and South America, with a focus on training and advising small scale and Indigenous producer cooperatives on organic production, fair trade and quality control. As an organic coffee producer himself, he is a founding member of the “Catuai Amarillo” cooperative and the Federation of High Mountains Specialty Coffees (Incafesam), social enterprises that export organic coffee to the United States and Europe. Moreover, he is a member and current president of the Steering Committee of the Mexican Certification Authority for Ecological Products and Processes (Certimex). He is a former mayor of Chocamán, Veracruz, his place of residence. Since 2019, he has collaborated with the Sowing Life program of the Mexican government’s Ministry of Welfare as an agroforestry and sustainable coffee cultivation expert.