APECAFE - Asociación de Pequeños Productores de Café de El Salvador
APECAFE now provides extensive services to cooperative members including pre-harvest financing, technical assistance and community development. The association has steadily increased their direct exports to international Fair Trade markets since becoming Fair Trade Certified in 1998. After a long period of economic failure, the cooperative's involvement with Fair Trade facilitated negotiations with lenders, gradually decreasing their debt and beginning to retain capital and plan investments to increase efficiency and productivity.
APECAFE claims Fair Trade has attracted new members to their organization, and Fair Trade premiums have enabled them to establish various social and productive programs benefiting their communities.
Our work is valued more thanks to the benefits small farmers have obtained by way of the market, which opened to us only through Fair Trade. ”
Guillermo Hernández, Committee Leader, Salto
By earning a Fair Trade price, I was able to send my children to high school and improve my home by adding electricity and potable water. ”
Juan Zacariás, Member, Las Colinas
APECAFE works to raise awareness of gender inequalities and improve incomes for women in the cooperative.
APECAFE has improved school infrastructure, hired additional teachers and purchased school supplies. They have helped expand the local school up until the 7th grade level, and hope to establish a scholarship fund for disadvantaged youth in the future. They have invested in programs teaching leadership skills, cooperative management and project financing. They also plan to initiate a program teaching cupping techniques to younger adults.
APECAFE contributed to rebuilding housing and infrastructure following a series of earthquakes in 2001.