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      A scenic view on a trip to the coffee fields in Peru | Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd.  Crossing a wooden bridge by foot on our way to the coffee fields in Peru | Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd.  Proud Peruvian coffee producers | Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd.  Showing green cherries on a Peruvian coffee tree | Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd.

    Just east of the Andean mountain range in Central America is the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Pangoa. CAC Pangoa was founded in 1977 by 50 farmers from the town of San Martin de Pangoa, who had splintered from the larger and older Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Satipo due to the distance between their town and Satipo. In the early 1980s, Pangoa grew to nearly 1,700 members, and the future looked very promising. With an internal agreement to set aside 3 percent of every sale for internal investments, members were able to build much of the infrastructure that is still in use today. However, the 1980s ushered in the turbulent era commonly known as “El Periodo del Terrorismo” which lasted for 20 years. The militant group the Shining Path swept through what had been a remarkably peaceful area of Peru, killing thousands of innocent people and carrying out a dreadfully effective fear campaign. As a result, Pangoa lost hundreds of farmers who fled to the cities in order to escape the violence. Since then, it has slowly regained membership and today has nearly 700 farmers.

    In 2001, Pangoa received FLO Fair Trade certification and quickly established two programs that continue serving members today, the Educational Fund, and the Health Services Fund. It also encouraged its members to switch to organics through a formalized program of training and documenting practices according to international organic standards. In 2002, Pangoa was granted its first organic certification.

    Cooperative Coffees began working with Pangoa in 2005, importing their members' coffee with unique characteristics of medium body and rich cocoa, almond and berry notes and medium acidity. We are proud of our continued partnership, including our offering of support with funding for training and in soil and farm management. In 2016, members took part in the Regenerative Soil Workshop, Diplomado Organica, at COMSA, Honduras. Pangoa has also received funding from Cooperative Coffees’ Carbon Climate and Coffee Initiative to support their Centres of Excellence program. This program began working with 3 model farmer plots in each of its 13 grower regions to serve as “showcase” farms, experimenting with and applying best organic practices. Pangoa member response to this new program was quick and enthusiastic, with many more farmers already interested in taking part. Centres of Excellence intend to highlight best practices, reforestation and the best use of local resources to create fully integrated and diversified family farms and serve as a model to others.

    Pangoa is clearly involved in the lives of its members beyond the purchasing and selling of their coffee. It has promoted economic diversification through cacao production in lower elevations, honey production, and developing local markets for roasted coffee sales. Since 2009, it has also promoted local ecotourism projects in its communities to supplement family income. Pangoa provides an exemplary model of the power of small-farmer cooperatives within Fair Trade.

    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.

    "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.

    Located in San Martin de Pangoa at 900-2000 meters -- Varietals: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, and Pache

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    Cooperativa Agraria 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 primary objectives are to sell 100% of their coffee to the specialty market, to strengthen their organization, and to establish respectful and collaborative commercial alliances with their international network of buyers.

    Santiago Paz visited Bean North Coffee Roasting in 2009. Click here to read about his visit and listen to his interview with CBC Yukon.

    Through the consolidation of member 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 have increased their exports from 550 qq of coffee in 1997 to nearly 40,000 qq into specialty markets in North America, Europe and Asia. 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.

    For the past several years, Coop Coffees has been working with Norandino to resuscitate the traditional natural process coffees of the Canchaque region of northern Piura. That process saw the first successful fruits of Norandino and member cooperative Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui’s labour during the 2012 harvest. That’s when the farmers around Coyona produced three, small-lots of natural process coffee. “Prior to 1990, nearly 100% of Sierra Piurana coffee was natural process” says Norandino manager Santiago Paz. “This Canchaque coffee was famous world-wide for its special flavor profile.”

    The producers themselves say, recovering the Cafe Canchaque is both sentimental and a smart marketing move, creating a unique niche and distinguishing the region as one of the only producers of high-quality, unwashed coffees in all of Peru. Characterised by its consistently sweet blend of tropical fruit and caramel flavors, full body and bitter cocoa finish, this very special prep coffee has now become a stable offering to our roaster/members. Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui in Coyona is one of the oldest coops in the region – founded Nov 4, 1969 (and named after an indigenous hero Tukamaro II who led a revolt against the Spaniards Nov 4, 1779).

    With a total of 200 members spread across 5 casilleros, this represents the vast majority of the local population in the region. Within that membership, 100 producers live in the town of Coyona itself. This kind of proximity and cohesion is rare in rural cooperatives, offering their members greater opportunities for community impact and development. Coop Candorcanqui exports its coffee through Coop Norandino, the umbrella organization serving coop members’ marketing, financing and technical training needs.

    Located in the Piura Region; Coyona, Canchaque at 1300-1800 meters -- Varietals: Arabica - Bourbon, Typica ___________________________________________________________________________

    Cooperativa 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 who wish to join, first need the visto bueno of existing members within their community. Or, if the applicant comes from a community not yet associated to Sol & Café, he or she will be visited by the president of the board, to assure that the candidate comes with the intentions of becoming a contributing cooperative member and dedicated to producing high-quality, organic coffee.

    Sol y Café's growth plan seem to be working, with export levels around 80% of their total collective harvest, and members showing regularly as top finishers in quality competitions held nationally and abroad. In addition to award winning quality, Sol y Café manages a sophisticated system of quality triage, helping their technical team hone in on farmers who need more assistance in growing and processing. The organization has developed impressive digital systems to manage traceability, from farmer delivery at warehouse to container, which has facilitated an integrated system of quality incentives, where higher qualities and yields render higher prices to farmers.

    This co-op has demonstrated an incredible capacity for innovation, regeneration and the implementation of clear and specific strategies for climate resiliency and adaptation by promoting field renovation and systematic pruning practices that have resulted in maintaining extraordinary vitality in their trees and greater climate resiliency in their fields.

    Cooperative Coffees began working with Sol y Café in 2012, importing their members’ coffee with unique characteristics of jasmine floral fragrances, sweet tropical fruit, honey vanilla and caramel flavors, balanced with crisp acidity and a creamy, full body. Sol y Café has quickly become a solid and integral member of the Coop Coffees’ producer partner network, with its excellent communication, coffee quality and services to its members.

    Located in Jaen, Cajamarca in northern Peru at 960-2000 meters -- Varietals: Arabica – Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catuai, Pache, Mondonovo

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    CENFROCAFE was founded in 1999 with 220 small-scale coffee farmers in eleven community-based associations. Nearly fifteen years after their founding, the co-op serves more than 2,000 farmer members in local associations spanning across twelve districts within the lush Cajamarca region. 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 their communities as a whole.

    The CENFROCAFE financial team provides short-term credit that help farmers cover the front-end costs of the harvest and materials in the coffee production. CENFROCAFE is one of the leaders in creating a cooperative alliance with like-minded associations in the greater Cajamarca region to provide important technical and marketing services to thousands of small-scale farmers in northern Peru. Without this kind of strong organization, local farmers would have otherwise been left each to his or her own devices to develop best practices for healthy fields and increased production yields, or for the marketing and sales of their coffee. Results to date are impressive. On average, CENFROCAFE producers yield 20qq of organic coffee per hectare, and often show in the top finalists in national and international quality competitions.

    The improved revenue for CENFROCAFE farmers has been instrumental for their access to basic health, education, and other social services. CENFROCAFE founding member and former president 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, we are receiving a fair price for our efforts, and our members can be proud again to be farmers.”

    Cooperative Coffees began importing from CENFROCAFE in 2005. Since then, our relationship with this cooperative has flourished both in coffee purchases – with more than 2 million pounds direct purchased — as well as roaster efforts to support their production and quality improvement initiatives. They are active members of Cooperative Coffees Canada and helped host the AGM in Peru in 2010.

    Located in Jean, Cajamarca in northern Peru at 1200-2000 meters -- Varietals: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, and Pache

    CENFROCAFE coffee isn't available at this time - we expect to have it in stock later this year

    *information courtesy of Cooperative Coffees