We are very pleased to announce CAC Oro Verde  and CAC Satipo , two coffee cooperatives in Peru, as the winners of Fair Trade USA's emergency Rust Response Fund . Each cooperative was awarded $25,000 to use toward fighting and preventing coffee leaf rust.
Fair Trade USA developed the Rust Response Fund  as an extension of our existing Cooperative Small Grants Program , which offers Fair Trade coffee cooperatives access to funding for specialized capacity-building projects. The Rust Fund was created in March of 2013 to help small-scale farmers fight the devastating outbreak of roya in Central and South America. Experts from the International Coffee Organization  estimate that in 2012/2013 the outbreak will cost coffee producers as much as $500 million due to significant crop loss, and cite a decrease of nearly 374,000 jobs, adding that these figures will likely increase if necessary measures are not taken.
About the Grant Winners
CAC Oro Verde  is a Peruvian coffee cooperative with 600 member families. With this grant, CAC Oro Verde will introduce rust management projects for its farms in the San Martin Region. These projects will focus on improving knowledge and skills for integrated rust management among member families. Over a 12 month period, senior agronomists will lead training activities, make specific recommendations, and conduct soil analysis to help guide CAC Oro Verde as they begin applying organic fertilizers to affected plants. Further, the farmers of this coffee community will replant 100 hectares of land with rust resistant coffee seedlings, purchase necessary inputs and equipment, and even build a laboratory for the creation of organic mixtures.
The second grant recipient is Cooperativa Agraria Cafetelera Satipo Ltda (CAC Satipo ), a Peruvian coffee cooperative that earned certification in 1997. CAC Satipo prides itself on its healthcare, social services and credit programs, as well as its educational and training opportunities for all members. With the $25,000 it was awarded, CAC Satipo will implement a new rust management fund. This fund will be used towards purchasing rust-resistant seedlings, inputs for organic mixtures that will prevent the spread of rust, as well as for technical assistance for the co-op members and their individual efforts.
The Selection Process
Fair Trade USA received 42 proposals between March and May, and through no small feat selected 10 finalists. These 10 projects were then evaluated by an external committee made up of representatives from the Progreso Foundation, Lutheran World Relief, Empresa Cooperativa Del Sur Del Cauca (COSURCA), Café Orgánico Márcala SA (COMSA), and Royal Coffee Inc., who then selected the final recipients. We are pleased to announce that with these two new investments, Fair Trade USA has now awarded small grants to 5 cooperatives in Central and South America.
“We are pleased to award these two exemplary Fair Trade Certified cooperatives in Peru funds to implement projects that mitigate and combat the effects of rust. We are confident that CAC Satipo and CAC Oro Verde will implement their respective programs with excellence, benefitting their communities at this most critical time.” – Laura Ann Sweitzer, Producer Services Program Manager, Fair Trade USA
If you are interested in donating to the Rust Response Fund, click here .