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Producer Profiles

AGUADAS - Cooperativa de Caficultores de Aguadas Pipinta

AGUADAS (Cooperativa Caficultores de Aguadas Pipinta) is a coffee cooperative situated in the Caldas region of Colombia that exports through EXPOCAFE. The municipality of Aguadas is made up of an estimated 64 villages of which 65 percent are dedicated to coffee production. In all, almost 3,000 families make their living growing and selling coffee in this area. Over half of these families are members of AGUADAS. Forty villages participate in a wide range of Fair Trade services and benefits, including life insurance, pension funds and crop diversification. Fair Trade has been essential in their consolidation, expansion and development efforts.
 

Quotable

“Our members value services that the cooperative grants, including the commercialization of their coffee on fair terms. Similarly, compliance with the Fair Trade Standards, allows members of the organization improve farm conditions in the social, environmental and economic issues in sustainable agriculture.”  

Cesar Diaz, GENERAL MANAGER

Programs

Communities

Waterways and roads are essential for linking farming communities to the coffee production areas. AGUADAS’ fair trade premium has been used to build and repair roads and bridges. Due to extreme climate conditions, infrastructure is often severely damaged or destroyed. Without physical infrastructure, access remains restricted among producers, cooperatives and exporters which poses a major constraint on economic development.

AGUADAS developed a guide for producers to train on more tailored, coffee wastewater treatment. A distinction was made between solutions for small, medium, and large wet coffee processing plants, as the treatment strategy is heavily influenced by the amounts of wastewater and the available space and funds. The coop assisted members with the selection of the most appropriate treatment option for a given wet mill. In addition to the technical aspect, financial information was provided to help guide the treatment system implementation process.

Productivity & Quality

By building communal dry processing facilities and warehouses, AGUADAS is supporting its members to increase their revenue. AGUADAS dry mill and grading facilities are invaluable intermediaries between roasters and producers, ensuring that contracts are fair and based on strict quality control.