Our Coffee Partners
Here are details on coffee cooperatives we buy our coffee from.
1) FEDECOCAGUA Cooperative, Guatemala
"Prior to selling our coffee at the Fair Trade price, we did not have much of a chance to survive. Now we see the light at the end of the tunnel." Marcos M. Perez, FEDECOCAGUA member
Established in 1969, FEDECOCAGUA is a cooperative organization with 20,000 members. Seventy percent of co-op members are members of indigenous groups from various regions of Guatemala, including Huehuetenango, Cobin, Verapaces, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, and Zacapa.
With proceeds from the Fair Trade price, the co-op has been able to:
- Buy new trucks that help to reduce transportation costs involved in coffee production
- Establish healthcare centers and pharmacies to meet the needs of local families
- Create micro-credit and pre-harvest financing programs
- Construct new schools and offer members children scholarships to continue their education
- Finance electricity, potable water, and road construction projects
2) PRODECOOP Cooperative, Nicaragua
"With Fair Trade income we have made improvements to our community. Before we slept on the ground and did not have basic amenities. Now some of us have floors, some furniture, sanitary services, and potable water. If we sold all of our production at Fair Trade prices our dreams would come true." Alexa Marin Colindres, Promotora de Desarollo Cooperativo de Las Segovias (PRODECOOP) located in the Segovia region of northern Nicaragua
Based in the Segovia region of northern Nicaragua, Promotora de Desarollo Cooperativo de Las Segovias (PRODECOOP) now includes 40 cooperatives and 2,318 families. The co-op was established in 1993 to provide assistance to its member families in sustainable production and the marketing of their coffee. PRODECOOP promotes organic farming techniques, integrated systems of production, conservation of natural resources, and economic diversification among its members.
With revenue from Fair Trade sales, PRODECOOP supports many social and quality control programs, including:
- A scholarship program that has provided dozens of scholarships to members children so that they can attend primary and secondary school. PRODECOOP has provided books and backpacks to over 2,000 students
- An organic production program
- The establishment of 13 maintenance facilities for de-pulping machines, a dry mill, and three storage facilities
- A revolving social fund for building and improving members homes, disaster relief, healthcare, and neccessary infrastructure projects
- Creation of a quality control center and cupping lab.
3) PPKGO Cooperative, Indonesia
"The value added from Fair Trade is not just about money, it is about protecting the ecosystem and our community. We are able to invest in infrastructure to improve our well being. Thanks to Fair Trade, one of my children is now in medical school and the other is in midwifery school".
Mohammed Salim, Member The Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association located in the Gayo Highlands of the Aceh province of Sumatra, Indonesia.
The Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association (PPKGO) is an organic Fair Trade cooperative located in the Gayo Highlands of the Aceh province of Sumatra, Indonesia. Co-op members are small-scale coffee farmers dedicated to producing 100% shade-grown, organic coffee. In a region known for political conflict, the co-op has continued to produce, process, and export high quality Sumatran coffee. It has maintained relative peace and unity among an ethnically diverse membership comprised of Gayo, Javanese, Acehnese, Padang, and Batak peoples. Twenty percent of PPKGO's members are women. Co-op farmers live in an environmentally sensitive region the buffer zone to Gunung Leuser National Park, which contains critical watershed areas and sanctuaries for endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger. Fair Trade price incentives and technical support provided by the cooperative have encouraged sustainable agriculture and resource conservation.
Significant revenues earned from selling to the Fair Trade and organic markets allow PPKGO to contribute to a wide variety of programs, including:
- Community nurseries to provide improved and grafted coffee and shade tree seedlings
- Rehabilitation of degraded lands and unproductive coffee trees
- A weed cutter program to help farmers avoid the use of herbicides
- A credit union to extend small loans to families in the cooperative
- Community infrastructure improvements to the water supply, local roads, mosques, and schools
- Coffee processing improvements including the construction of a cupping lab and the purchase of five wet mills
- Income diversification projects in which farmers grow additional crops such as vanilla, potatoes, and bananas.
4) ACOC Cooperative, Colombia
"All of our programs, from administration to production, are financed with revenue from Fair Trade sales." Edna Margarita Fernandez, Manager. The Asociacion de Cafecultores Organicos de Colombia (ACOC) - located in the Cauca region of southwestern Colombia
Located in the Cauca region of southwestern Colombia. ACOC was established in 1992 and became Fair Trade certified by Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) in 1994. Today, the cooperative continues to work to improve the lives of its members and protect the environment.
A Fair Trade price has enabled ACOC to establish various social and productive programs:
- A technical assistance initiative. Members receive training in areas such as pest control and fertilization to assist them with the transition to organic production.
- Infrastructure improvements. ACOC has improved its coffee processing capabilities through the purchase of new de-pulping machines and wet processing tanks.
- An entrepreneurial organization. Project Cafe Madremonte, a cooperative-sponsored business, has plans for international export as well as local roasting of its coffee.
- Education. ACOC finances five scholarships annually to a local technical university and provides school supplies for local primary and secondary schools.
- A Social Fund. The Solidarity Fund provides economic support to members for emergency medical care, housing improvements, and disaster relief.
5) OCFCU Cooperative, Ethiopia
"Fair Trade membership is very important to our organization and its members." Tadesse Meskela, Oromia General Manager
Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, has more than 1.2 million coffee growers and approximately 15 million households dependent on coffee for their livelihoods. Coffee accounts for more than half of Ethiopia's export earnings. OCFCU (Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union) is the largest Fair Trade coffee producer in Ethiopia. Oromia was founded in 1999 when 23,691 members of 35 small Ethiopian cooperatives came together with the goal of exporting their coffee directly to the specialty market.
All six varieties of Oromia Highland Coffee are grown by indigenous farmers of the southwestern rainforest of Ethiopia. Oromia sells its coffee to Fair Trade markets in the United States and Europe.
Cooperative members use revenue from Fair Trade sales in the US and Europe for the following initiatives:
- Equipment purchases and repairs. Member organizations have purchased two washing stations, and Oromia has developed a fund for the repair of de-pulping machines to safeguard the organization’s capacity to produce high quality, washed Arabica coffee.
- Food security. Members have lessened their dependence on imported food by intercropping coffee plants with citrus and bananas.
- A commitment to organic production. The cooperative provides technical assistance to its members, including workshops on composting the by-products of coffee production and utilizing shade trees and natural fertilizers to enrich the soil. Recent Highlights Oromiac coffee is heirloom, forest-grown, organic, and bird-friendly. The cooperative was awarded first place for their unwashed coffee in the 2005 Eastern African Fine Coffee Association cupping competition. Of the top ten qualifiers in the competition, three were Oromia members.
6) ISMAM Cooperative, Mexico
"Fair Trade enables us to feed our children better and give them an education". Sr. Maximino Perez Meja, ISMAM member Product Awards
In 1985, Mayan farmers from more than 100 rural communities in the diocese of Sierra Madre de Chiapas came together to form the cooperative Indigenas de la Sierra Madre de Motozintla, or ISMAM. Theirs was an incredible effort to fight against the grinding poverty and exploitative coyote coffee prices threatening their families. They worked together to address their common needs for technical assistance, processing equipment, and direct market access. Today, approximately 8,000 family members benefit from the organization existence.
With proceeds from the Fair Trade price, the co-op has been able to
- Reduce migration rates and increase stability. Higher incomes for farmers allow families to stay together, thereby helping to preserve indigenous culture and local traditions
- Provide technical assistance and training in organic production. Seventy-six trained cooperative members carried out day-to-day training of members in the organic practices, which gained a 100% organic certification for ISMAM members 24,000 acres of land
- Sponsor women's groups. The women of ISMAM have cultivated coffee, ornamental palm trees, and cinnamon and pepper cultivation for local sale
- Finance before the harvest. The cooperative is able to provide a guaranteed price before the coffee is harvested, thereby reducing the crushing anxiety that is a fact of life for most small-scale farmers
- Improve educational opportunities. All co-op members are now sending their children to elementary school, and some to high school
- Establish food security. Agronomists have assisted members in planting fruit trees as shade for their coffee plants. The citrus fruits are often sold in local markets to add to the families incomes
7) COCLA Cooperative, Peru
"If we did not have Fair Trade we would not have the adequate resources to overcome the coffee crisis nor would we be able to invest in the quality of our coffee. We hope that with Fair Trade we will continue to receive a stable price for our coffee, thereby enabling us to continue investing in the quality of our product". Guillermo Aquilar Lozano, COCLA President
COCLA is a coffee cooperative association located in the Quillabamba region of Peru, east of the Incan city of Machu Pichu. The organization is composed of 7,500 producers over 25% of the membership is comprised of women. Following a long tradition of coffee growing, cooperative members pass their agricultural skills and knowledge down from generation to generation. In an area with very few economic options, Fair Trade offers a viable alternative to growing coca, the main ingredient in cocaine.
The cooperative has used revenue from Fair Trade sales to invest in the following initiatives:
- Sustainable agriculture. The cooperative runs a crop diversification project that significantly improves the nutrition of farming families and provides them with an additional source of income. Through COCLA organic coffee project, over 20,000 acres of coffee have been certified organic.
- Quality improvement. COCLA has established a technology-transfer project to facilitate the improvement of coffee quality and management in the field.
- Education. The cooperative has implemented various projects including the creation of a technical school for its members.
- Healthcare. COCLA created a program that aims to improve health of and raise medical awareness in member communities.
8) La Selva Cooperative, Mexico
"We are convinced that Fair Trade allowed many other groups to find out about our existence as a cooperative. Once others began to find out that La Selva exported coffee we were able to get help with project that werent just related to coffee production: housing, potable water and road improvements". Don Arturo, La Selva Member
Nestled in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, La Union de Sociedades de la Selva (La Selva) formed in 1978 as a result of the Mexican agrarian reform movement and the community's demand for increased health, educational and social services. The cooperative founding farmers and local priests were largely of the Tojolabal ethnic group and valued the Theology of the Earth philosophy. Thus, the major goals of the cooperative were two-fold; to achieve self-sufficiency by cutting out the local middlemen, and to protect the environment for future generations. Today, La Selva's terrace-cultivated coffee fields conserve land and their organic fertilizers ensure sustainable production. Fair Trade Certified with the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) in 1988, la Selva is committed to improving the livelihoods of its 2039 members and their families, seventy percent of whom are indigenous.
With proceeds from the Fair Trade price, the co-op has been able to:
- Access credit. La Selva uses the additional income as a means of collateral for securing loans from the local bank during the harvest season. These loans are distributed to their members to prefinance their harvest.
- Diversify their crops. Due to increased interaction with other organizations within the Fair Trade system, La Selva has diversified the crops they cultivate, thereby increasing food security for their members.
- Improve members standard of living. Members of the cooperative have traded their straw and grass rooftops for cement-block houses and tin roofs.