Founded on January 6, 1966, the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera San Ignacio de Loyola, or CASIL, was one of the pioneer coffee organizations in Northwestern Peru. By the 1980’s, CASIL had grown into the largest and most influential organization in the region because of its increase in membership and coffee supplied to international markets. Towards the end of the decade, however, the international coffee crisis, the country’s political turmoil, and several internal administration difficulties paralyzed CASIL entirely for a lapse of 15 years. During this period, the organization went from 1500 members to 38. In 2002, a new group of small coffee farmers took charge of the organization restructuring it to suit the 38 farmers who remained. All were determined to renew production and enter the specialty coffee market this time with a commitment to environmental sustainability and using the cooperative as the best mechanism to drive this unified effort. In 2003, members began working towards organic certification implementing the cooperative’s first internal control system and exported their first container of conventional coffee without any financing. This success led many institutions, clients, financers and even the cooperative’s own members to trust CASIL and their new leadership. Today, CASIL has 190 members and produces an estimated two containers of coffee each year. They are both organic and Fair Trade Certified and export to markets in the U.S., Europe and Canada.
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