Peru

NORANDINO 
4,790 family farmers
Product: Cuisine Camino whole brown sugar (Muscovado), transformed and packaged; Camino coffee beans.
 

Since the introduction of Cuisine Camino whole brown sugar (Muscovado) in 2009, La Siembra has been working directly with Cooperativa Norandino (formerly Cepicafe) when then first developed their sugar project.

The sugar project at Co-op Norandino transformed the co-op from a successful democratically-owned farmer export organization to a demontratically-owned farmer organization for social and economic change.  Recognizing their success in raising household incomes from better prices and yields from coffee, village co-op leaders noted that sugar cane, which members grew in the low-altitude parts of their farms,had no market. To address this and the increasing practice of turning cane juice into rum, the farmers decided to move forward with investments in village level panella production and processing facilities. They built 20 cane crushing and drying stations throughout the three departments of Ayabaca, Huancabamba and Morropon.

Today, co-op Norandino is an association comprised of 90 grassroots organizations with more than 4,790 small-scale coffee, sugar and cocoa producers, located on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains in Piura, Peru.  The farmer owners of co-op Norandino benefit from five key areas of program services from the co-op: training, financing/credit, certification, processing and sales & marketing.     Read more >

La Siembra worker-owners visit the newly planted coffee seedlings of Norandino farmer-owner Bonifacia Calle Quinde in Montero, Piura, Peru.
Members of Co-op Norandino vote for the Board of Directors at the 2016 Annual General Meeting. Photo by La Siembra.

ACOPAGRO
2,100 family farmers
Product: Cacao beans
 

Initially funded by the United Nation’s program to promote cacao cultivation as an alternative to growing coca leaves, ACOPAGRO was the first co-op to export cacao in all of Peru and is now an established exporter of quality cacao. The co-op, based in the San Martin region, has grown from 27 members in 1997 to more than 2,100 members today and is now the largest cacao exporter in Peru.

In July 2012, ACOPAGRO won first place in the national quality competition, Concurso Nacional de Cacao, in Lima. The co-op has diversified into other products and services like dried coconut, a reforestation and carbon capture program and credit service for members.

With Fair Trade premiums, ACOPAGRO has invested in a new office and warehouse facility, equipment and quality trainings for members, vehicles for staff, and social programs such as basic food production and access to medical services like dental and eye care.

The average farm size is 3 – 10 hectares, and many also grow fruit and timber trees. La Siembra has been sourcing cacao from ACOPAGRO since 2010.

Mission

To strengthen and improve production and productivity of cocoa harvesting to obtain quality products, raising income and quality of life for all ACOPAGRO family farmers. Read more >

 
 
Naranjillo – Tingo Maria
4,000 family farmers
Product: Cuisine Camino baking chocolate, transformed and packaged.
 

La Siembra works closely with the staff and members of Naranjillo  as this 50-year-old co-operative strengthens itself after a very difficult period.  Naranjillo farmer-members grow coffee and cacao, and the co-op also manufactures chocolate in their own factory.  La Siembra member-owner Renato Sobrino met with them in July 2016 to strengthen relationships, find out how they are doing, and sign our annual contract. Naranjillo has come a long way, particularly in the past year. After struggling for several years, a partnership with Althelia Ecosphere, a financing group dedicated to sustainable initiatives, is helping to turn things around. Their partnership goes beyond funding, offering support in many key areas with the help of their specialists. While visiting, Renato had the chance to speak with some of the people from Althelia, and they too expressed how excited they were about the partnership.

Part of the La Siembra – Naranjillo partnership, which began in 2009, centers on making the best use of the expanded production facilities which allows the farmers to process up to three times the volume of cocoa as previous.   The facility, which opened in October 2014, includes an expanded storage area not just for the members’ cocoa beans, but also the packaging materials and ingredients Naranjillo uses in producing their growing line of finished goods which creates added-value for the community of family farmers. Among those finished goods are Canada’s popular Fairtrade and organic certified  Cuisine Camino baking chocolate bars.

Read more >

CACVRA
3,700 family farmers
Product: Cacao beans

CACVRA (Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Valle Río Apurimac Ltda) is a democratic, worker-controlled organization of small scale family farmers of cacao and coffee located in Ayacucho, Peru.

The organisation was founded in 1969 to sustain their livelihood and preserve their culture and land. Today CACVRA has close to 1600 organic members and has become a significant producer and international exporter of quality organic coffee and cocoa beans.  They have invested substantial resources into cultivating and marketing cacao of the highest quality. La Siembra has been supporting CACVRA since launching our first 100 g chocolate bars in 2002 by purchasing their organic cocoa beans under fair trade terms.

Mission

Provide efficient marketing services, agricultural credit, education, technical assistance, social services, agricultural industrialization, complemented by an efficient business management, leading to the sustained development of families and communities of family farmer members located in the VRAE.

 
 
Quinacho
800 family farmers
Product: Cacao beans
 

El Quinacho (Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera El Quinacho) is a cocoa and coffee co-operative located in the southern part of Valley Apurimac in the District of Sivia-Province of Huanta-Ayacucho Region in Peru. The co-operative is also part of the larger organizations Junta Nacional del Cafe and Associacion de Productores de Cafes Especiales (APECAFE). We began sourcing from Quinacho in 2010.

 
San Fernando
450 family farmers
Product:  Camino Sunrise coffee beans, Perfecto coffee beans
 
Our sister co-operative Equal Exchange has a long and amazing history with the San Fernando Co-operative. In the late 1990s when the community suffered terrible flooding, it was Equal Exchange that paid prices to cover the cost of boating (and in some cases sending by helicopter) the coffee from the farms to the co-op centre. In 2008, the women of San Fernando hosted a team including Ashley Cheuk, whose story still gives us goosebumps. Two years ago when the general manager of the farmers’ export co-operative died, Equal Exchange guided San Fernando through the process of registering the coffee as certified fair trade and certified organic. As for Equal Exchange’s members, Spanish is a second language for most of the members of San Fernando Co-operative, which is located in a predominantly Quechua-speaking area.
 
The members’ expertise in coffee farming speaks for itself. If you can find better quality organic coffee than that which is grown by the farmers of San Fernando, please let us know because we haven’t found any better. If you would like to try a bag, just send Tom an e-mail.
 
Primitiva Yuto Reuamani, one of the few women co-op members. Photo credit: Jessica Notargiacomo