TheFederación Regional de Asociaciones de Pequeños Cafetaleros Ecológicos del Sur (FAPECAFES)is an umbrella organization of seven producer groups - APECAM, PROCAP, PROCAFEQ, APEOSAE, APECAEL, APECAP, and ACRIM - growing, processing and exporting green coffee, honey and plantains. The co-op formed in 2002 after years of informal cooperation between farmers in the region, and received its Fair Trade certificate a year later. Approximately 95% of FAPECAFES members are small-scale farmers, growing on fewer than 10 hectares of land.
Since 2013, Cooperative Coffees has been sourcing coffee from two of the primary organizations: APECAP and ACRIM. Together they represent about 500 farmers and maintain excellent relations. These two organizations produce nearly 75% of the overall volume of FAPECAFES’ coffee, and have considerable leverage in the management and governance of this umbrella cooperative. Together they have launched their own product designation of origin Bracamoros to distinguish it from Peruvian coffee being cultivated across the border.
Since there is a limited amount of high quality washed Ecuadorian Arabica coffee available in the world market, FAPECAFES has introduced a commercial strategy to place itself as one of the highest quality providers of Ecuadorian coffees. Since 2008 it has been sponsoring the “Bracamoros Coffee” festival, including a cupping competition. Organized by APECAP and ACRIM, they have been selecting and awarding prizes to the highest scoring coffees submitted by their small-scale farmers. Since 2014, Cooperative Coffees has been participating in the cupping panel of this competition and in the subsequent micro-lot auction. Such quality initiatives have in many cases quadrupled the income of farmers, and helped raise the profile of Ecuadorian coffees.
Besides coffee, FEPECAFES' farmers produce organic products such as honey and other bee products, chiles, and bananas. They work toward phytosanitary conditions on farms, on crop diversification projects, and prohibit the use of agrochemicals. The farmers invested in planting trees to provide shade for their coffee plants. Fruit trees include banana, orange, lime, papaya, and yucca. This allows them to grow food for consumption or the market, and provides a habitat for birds and other animals. FAPECAFES is purchasing wet mills and building greenhouse-type coffee drying facilities in the communities where the famers live to improve quality and to maximize possible output through organic production
Located in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe, Loja, in southern Ecuador at 1300 - 2000 meters -- Varietals: Bourbon, Caturra, and Pacas
*information courtesy of Cooperative Coffees
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