Ervin Calixto Miranda Gonzalez is the manager of COOMPROCOM, R.L., a Fairtrade certified Cooperative in Nicaragua. We met Ervin at the SCAE coffee event in Vienna where he was busy meeting with potential buyers and looking for new markets for the cooperative’s coffee.
Below is a transcript of our brief interview:
My name is Ervin Miranda, I’m the manager of COOMPROCOM, a cooperative of coffee farmers in Matagalpa, Nicaragua with 221 members – 40 of whom are women – and we are in 16 communities. Fairtrade for us has been a model for development where we have been able to transform the economic and social situation in small communities that other models cannot replicate. This has been important because it is a sustainable model and has also helped us find excellent markets for our coffee.
How have you dealt with the volatility of coffee prices?
There’s something to back us up, to know we always have the minimum price – that is very important. And the volatility, which we understand, many times we find solidarity with our market (partners). When the price is very high, it can be a problem. They have been good with us working to find a middle ground, both of us contributing.
Throughout the past year, coffee prices have been on a wild ride soaring to nearly $3 per pound last year and falling to below $1.60 one year later. While much is made of low or high prices in coffee and its impact on producers, it’s the volatility and market uncertainty that farmers often find most challenging. Fairtrade encourages long-term relationships between coffee producers and their buyers to help both weather volatile markets.