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Showing posts tagged “Nicaragua”

Imelda Rojo, the vice president of Danilo Gonzalez Cooperative in Nicaragua, depulps coffee. Her cooperative is part of the CECOCAFEN Cooperative, which is made up of 10 cooperatives and two cooperative unions with a total of 2,600 producers, more than 700 of whom are women. 
Many Fairtrade coffee farmers, including representatives of Imelda’s cooperative, will flock to Seattle soon for the world’s largest specialty coffee conference, the SCAA 26-28 April. Fairtrade International and our members, Fairtrade America, the CLAC Network, Fairtrade Canada, and Fairtrade Africa will attend as well.
Photo by Sean Hawkey

Imelda Rojo, the vice president of Danilo Gonzalez Cooperative in Nicaragua, depulps coffee. Her cooperative is part of the CECOCAFEN Cooperative, which is made up of 10 cooperatives and two cooperative unions with a total of 2,600 producers, more than 700 of whom are women.

Many Fairtrade coffee farmers, including representatives of Imelda’s cooperative, will flock to Seattle soon for the world’s largest specialty coffee conference, the SCAA 26-28 April. Fairtrade International and our members, Fairtrade America, the CLAC Network, Fairtrade Canada, and Fairtrade Africa will attend as well.

Photo by Sean Hawkey

Now, in a price free-falling system, like the one we are in, Fairtrade generates a base price, which really helps us, especially in a time like now. It gives us stability for our families.

Fatima Ismael is the General Manager at Soppexcca, a Fairtrade cooperative in Nicaragua. Coffee prices have fallen over 65% from their peak in 2011 to just US$1.06/pound. Read more about the other benefits of Fairtrade that help farmers weather the price roller coaster.


We met Luis Marin Garcia while at the SCAA Expo in April. Luis is manager of UCASUMAN in Nicaragua, one of the first recipients of a Fairtrade Access Fund loan. The Fairtrade Access Fund helps Fairtrade certified producers in Latin America get access to affordable credit to improve their businesses. Read more about the Fund here.

Translation: My name is Luis Marin Garcia. I am the manager of UCASUMAN and I am a producer and member of the cooperative.

We are happy be here representing our organization that belongs to us and we are happy to be working together managing our resources and running our organization efficiently.

Within this current management we have secured a $350,000 loan from Incofin to secure the contracts of one of our major importers, which is Volcafe, whose three contracts helped us guarantee the loan. And this is important because it satisfies a major need for each member of our cooperative. So each member is more satisfied, more at peace, and content to know that by being certified Fairtrade, it helps us obtain resources and it can facilitate access to international markets.

With Volcafe we have a good project for financing and we export 23% of our coffee with them, which makes them one of our most important clients. And they pay well for the coffee meaning a higher income in the wallets of our producers, which allows them [the producer] to fulfil their obligations.

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.

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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.

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