CECOVASA, or the Central de Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras de los Valles de Sandia was founded in 1970 when a group of coffee farmers in the Lake Titicaca region of Peru came together to better sell their coffee. Members of the organization are primarily part of indigenous Quechua and Aymara descent. Until then, these farmers sold their beans to intermediaries who typically paid less than half of the market price. Today, the cooperative provides a better alternative for producers and is one of the largest small producer organizations in the country. CECOVASA and its nine base cooperatives became Fair Trade Certified TM in 1993, and began to export their coffee directly to U.S. and European markets.CECOVASA also works hard to ensure high quality coffee. In 2012, CECOVASA won the National Coffee Quality Competition in Peru, marking CECOVASA's fifth year of victory in the competition. Close to 50 percent of CECOVASA’s members produce organic coffee, thanks to an organic conversion program that began in 1997.
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