Producer Profiles

APCO - Asociación de Pequeños Caficultores de Ocamonte

The Asociación de Pequeños Caficultores de Ocamonte (APCO) is a well organized group of an estimated 270 farming families, most of who live in the municipality of Ocamonte, in the state of Santander, Colombia. This area is considered one of the most peaceful coffee growing regions in the country. Visitors are warmly welcomed with many touring the region’s striking scenic routes and its growing eco and adventure tourism industry.

Harvest begins at lower altitudes of 1,200 meters in September and continues up the mountains, where several warehouses have been built to facilitate storage, until about 1,700 meters in January. The export season lasts from November to March and trees are typically picked at least three times a year. Most coffee picked is Colombiana, a variety similar to Caturra, and about half of the organization’s members have transitioned into organic cultivation. APOC was founded in May 1994.
 

Programs

Educational Programs

APCO invested Fair Trade premium funds in various educational initiatives - technical training on quality control, organic farming and co-operativism. A few students were also awarded academic scholarships and school uniforms.

Community Infrastructure Maintenance

Co-financed by the municipality, APCO invested premium funds in public infrastructure maintenance, focusing on community roads and bridges. So far, four bridges have been restored to safety.

Home Improvement Funds

An estimated 75 members have received financial support for home improvements, including the construction of chimneys in kitchens, deemed an effective measure in helping reduce respiratory problems among women.