Located in the district of San Martin de Pangoa, the CAC Pangoa (Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Pangoa) was founded by its original 50 members in 1977. Today, its 721 members, along with its team of directors, technicians and employees are working hard to compete in a complicated international market. The majority of the coop members still cultivate coffee on five to ten hectare plots.
The cooperative promotes strong leadership and gender equality. The Women's Development Committee (Comite de Desarrollo de la Mujer) works to benefit the female members, wives, and daughters, and ultimately all the coffee producing families. They are an integral part of the cooperative and strengthen it by forming new leaders and members with a new vision of development. One example of their work is to organize medical check-ups for all women over 30 years old for prevention and early detection of several diseases.
About five years ago, the cooperative initiated its organic program to teach members of best organic practices as well as helping community groups to understand all internal and external inspection norms. Pangoa has promoted the diversification of production, with cocoa production in lower elevations and honey production. They also use revenue from Fair Trade coffee sales to sponsor several initiatives: Credit and savings support, crop diversification programs, women's organization promotion, insurance, infrastructure improvements, and technical assistance.
The main source of income for most of the members of CAC Pangoa is coffee. But the cooperative aims at diversifying its income with the production of other crops and products. The cooperative is working hard to improve the quality of organic cocoa for use in the fine chocolate industry. Also, 6000 kg of honey was produced and most was sold locally. A project is being developed for the production of honey wine for broader distribution.
"With the Fair Trade price we hope to increase our organic production so that we can improve and conserve the soil and subsequently increase our productivity. With increased revenue from Fair Trade sales, we plan to improve all technical aspects of our production."- Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, CAC Pangoa General manager.
Geographic Location: Located in San Martin de Pangoa -- Varietals: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, and Pache -- Altitude: 900-2000 meters
Coop Norandino (formally known as CEPICAFE) was founded in March 1995 with 200 members. Today the group has grown into a second level non-profit organization which represents coffee and sugar cane producers of the Piuran mountains and the northeast of Peru. Their main objectives are to sell 100% of their coffee to the specialty market, to strengthen their organization, and to establish good commercial alliance.
The cooperative alliance between CEPICAFE, OROVERDE and CENFROCAFE, has provided important services to thousands of small-scale farmers (members and non-members alike) in the coffee regions of Northern Peru, who without a strong organization would have otherwise been abandoned without access to even the most basic health, education and other social services.
Through the consolidation of producer organizations under the Norandino umbrella, producers are now active and respected agents for sustainable development in their region. They have worked collectively to improve quality and overall production under certified organic practices, and they have increased their exports from 550 quintales in 1997 to 44,000 quintales into a range of specialty markets over the past 10 years. Farmers also enjoy access to financing and to development projects. This has facilitated the diversification of their production base to include a range of products from panela (raw brown sugar), jams and cocoa to crafts and tourism. Learn more about their diversification products here.
Geographic Location: Located in the Piura Region; Coyona, Canchaque -- Varietals: Arabica - Bourbon, Typica -- Altitude: 900 - 1700 meters
Sol y Café was founded in 2005, with support from the Caritas Jaen technical team. They quickly moved to acquire the necessary organic and sustainable trading certificates to sell into North America and Europe and grew from their initial 27 clusters of producer base groups to more than 60 producer associations bringing together some 1,000 farmer families. They continue to share an office space in the Caritas complex in Jaen, where they maintain a small warehouse and quality control lab.
Sol y Café has followed a steady growth plan, sticking to clear and strictly applied membership criteria. Members are expected to actively participate in the development of their cooperative and to contribute to its growth, by bringing in at least 51% of their estimated harvest.
Producers requesting membership into the coop need the visto bueno of existing members within that particular community. Or, if the applicant comes from a community not yet associated to Sol y Café, he or she will be visited by the producer board of directors president, to assure that the candidate comes with the intentions of becoming a contributing cooperative member and dedicated to producing high-quality, organic coffee.
Their strict criteria seem to be paying off. Sol y Café achieves export levels around 80% of their total collective harvest; and members show regularly as top finishers in quality competitions held nationally and abroad. Classic Sol y Café cupping notes include: jasmine floral fragrances, sweet tropical fruit, honey vanilla and caramel flavors, balanced with crisp acidity and a creamy, full body.
In order to support their members in production yields, Sol y Café has proactively supported field experimentation that demonstrates, after a three-year transition process, volumes doubling with totals up to 40qq per hectare. Sol y Cafe is now implementing a 300-hectare renovation plan with all members, in order to replicate those production levels more broadly across their zone of influence.
We began importing from Sol y Café only a few short seasons ago. However, due to the excellent communication, coffee quality and services to their members, Sol y Café has quickly become a solid and integral member of the Coop Coffees producer partner network.
Geographic Location: Located in San Ignacio, Jaen and Cajamarca in northern Peru -- Varietals: Arabica – Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catuai, Pache, Mondonovo -- Altitude: 900 - 2050 meters
CENFROCAFE spans the lush provinces of Jaen and San Ignacio in northern Peru. The cooperative was founded in 1999 with 220 small-scale coffee farmers in eleven community-based associations. Nearly ten years after their founding, CENFROCAFE served approximately 2,000 farmers in over 80 organizations located in twelve districts within the region of Cajamarca.
From technical assistance and quality control workshops for their farmers to economic and leadership training for the young people in their rural communities, CENFROCAFE works not only to support the commercial endeavors of its members but also to facilitate the development of the community. They provide loans that help farmers cover the costs of the harvest and materials in the coffee production as well as the costs of sending their children to school. The cooperative alliance with CEPICAFE, OROVERDE, and NORANDINO – all like-minded associations with a similar vision and objective – has provided important services to thousands of small-scale farmers (members and non-members alike) in Northern Peru, who without a strong organization would have otherwise been abandoned without access to even the most basic health, education, and other social services.
CENFROCAFE founding member and formerpresident of the producer Board of Directors, Anselmo Huaman Moreto explains: “A huge difference in our lives is that now our children can actually go to school, our coffee is being recognized in the market for the quality we produce, and our members can be proud again to be farmers.”
Cooperative Coffees began importing coffee from the CENFROCAFE in 2004, buying one container for 2005. Since then, our relationship with the coop has flourished both in coffee purchases as well as in efforts to improve quality and develop their member services. They are active members of Coop Sol and helped host the AGM in Peru in 2010.
Geographic Location: Located in Jean and San Ignacio, Cajamarca (Northern Peru) -- Varietals: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, and Pache -- Altitude: 1300 - 2000 meters