I interviewed Delmi Regalado of COCAFELOL, a cooperative in Honduras, at the SCAE Coffee Event in Vienna, Austria. We also talked at last year’s SCAE in Maastricht when her cooperative was awaiting the final decision on their certification. COCAFELOL has had a fair amount of success already and Delmi was at the SCAE to continue building up important contacts in the coffee industry

“Hola, my name is Delmi Regalado. I work with the cooperative COCAFELOL in Ocotepeque, Honduras. We work with 500 coffee producers of which 200 are also certified Fairtrade organic. This was our first year with Fairtrade certification and the truth is it has been a good experience for the producers and we are beginning with this and we sell about 20% of our coffee with the seal.

“So far the only project we have done is helping the community build a coffee cupping school for children to learn about cupping coffee. We have also helped with athletics building playing fields for sports. This is more or less what we’ve been working on.”

What was the inspiration for the cupping school?

“The inspiration was because we have seen in other countries how the coffee industry is aging. And the children in other countries, we have seen how the parents have sent them to study careers that have nothing to do with coffee. Once they grow up, they don’t have an interest in working in coffee. We hope that our children understand and [want to] do what we’re doing in cafe.”

Kyle Freund is the Interim Liaison Manager in the office of Communications at Fairtrade International. In June he attended the SCAE coffee event in Vienna, Austria, Europe’s largest specialty coffee conference mixing hundreds of producers, traders, roasters and retailers as they come together to discuss everything coffee.