OUR CO-OPERATIVE COFFEE MARKETPLACE
Cooperativa Mejillones – Cooperativa Mejillones was founded in 1988 when 20 coffee farmers came together with the vision of improving their living standards and producing a high quality organic product to sell competitively on the domestic and international markets. Today there are 85 members who can produce up to 3,750,000 pounds of green coffee each year.
Nearly 90 percent of Fair Trade premiums earned at Mejillones have been invested in a central dry-processing plant, giving the farmers greater autonomy and enhanced quality control The remaining 10 percent of Fair Trade premiums have helped pay for organic components and for training in composting and soil management techniques.
Quality improvement and control has been central to Mejillones development. Commercial Manager Marcial Huanca is a certified coffee grader and has judged in many coffee competitions. The Mijillones focus on quality has been rewarded: with dark fruit, fig and dark chocolate flavors, sweet and pleasant acidity and creamy body, their coffees are consistent winners in national competitions.
Fondo Paez – In1992 Fondo Paez was founded with the primary goal of recuperating traditional agricultural knowledge and indigenous culture which had been buried by centuries of conflict and depression. Fondo Paez is located in the highland region of Cauca. Paez, who also call themselves Nasa or “the people”, is the largest indigenous group in Colombia. Currently Fondo Paez is comprised of 550 members based on a democratic farmer association.
Coop Coffee has been importing coffee from Fondo Paez since 2004. One of the coffees imported by Coop Coffees is not yet certified as organic. Coop Coffee recognizes this coffee as Transitional; farmers employ organic methods and have struggled against regional difficulties as they strive to get certification. Third Coast Coffee pays 90% of the organic premium to Fondo Paez to encourage farmers to continue on the organic certification path.
Grown as part of the coop's effort to reclaim traditional agricultural methods, Fondo Paez's coffee arrives on our doorstep under the name Cafe Nyaft'ewesh, "Coffee of the Ancients."
CENFROCAFE– When CENFROCAFE was founded in 1999 it only had 220 small-scale coffee farmers in eleven different community based associations. Today CENFROCAFE consists of nearly 2,000 farmers spread out over twelve districts within the lush Cajamarca region in Peru. CENFROCAFE is one of the leaders in creating a cooperative alliance that provides important technical and marketing services to small- scale farmers as well as economic and leadership training for youth in rural communities. Their financial team also provides short-term credit that helps farmers cover the front- end cost of the harvest and materials that go into coffee production.
Often CENFROCAFE shows as a top finalist in national quality competitions. Coop Coffee has been importing from CENFROCAFE since 2005.
Norandino- Coop Norandino (formally known as CEPICAFE) was founded in March 1995 with 200 members. Today the coop has grown to 6,000 members by consolidating several organizations around the region, all producing under the Norandino umbrella. Norandino has grown to a second level nonprofit organization which represents the coffee and sugar cane producers of Piura Region of Peru.
Through certified organic practices Narandino members have collectively improved the quality of their coffee and increased in overall production. In 1997 Norandino was exporting 550qq of coffee; today there are nearly exporting 40,000qq of coffee into the international specialty markets. This success has facilitated the diversification of their product base to include a range of products from panela (raw brown sugar), jams, cocoa, to crafts and tourism.
Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Coyona, was founded in1969. Currently there a total of 200 members spread across five casilleros and this represents the vast majority of the local population in the region. This proximity and cohesion is rare in rural cooperatives, offering their members a greater opportunity for community impact and development. Coop Candorcanqui exports its coffee though Coop Norandino, the umbrella organization serving coop members’ marketing, financing, and technical training needs.
Natural Processed Coffee from Coyona: Prior to 1990, nearly 100% of Sierra Piurana coffee was natural ("unwashed") process, and over the last several years Coop Coffee has worked with Norandino to revive this traditional, water-conserving method of preparing the coffee beans. During the harvest of 2012, Coop Coffee saw the results of cooperative member José Gabriel Condorcanqui's hard work and dedication when he successfully produced around three small lots of natural process coffee. Third Coast Coffee was among the first roasters to offer this distinctive coffee in the U.S.
Sol y Café - With support of the Caritas Internationalis technical team Sol y Café was founded in 2005. Sol y Café grew from its original 27 producer base groups to more than 60 producers associations, bringing together the 1020 members it currently has today.
Producers requesting membership must seek the visto bueno of existing members. Or, if the producer is not from a community associated with Sol y Café, the board of director’s president will visit the producer to assure they will be a contributing cooperative member that is dedicated to producing high quality, organic coffee.
By sticking to a clear and strictly applied membership criteria, Sol y Café has been able to follow a steady growth plan. Members are expected to actively participate in the development of their cooperative and to contribute to its growth, by bringing in 51% of their annual harvest.
The coffees of Sol y Cafe are regular top finishers at quality competitions nationally and abroad.