Producer Profiles

APECAFEQ - Asociación de Pequeños Caficultores de Quinchia

The Asociación de Pequeños Caficultores de Quinchia (APECAFEQ) was formed in 1994 when local farmers united to gain better access into the international coffee market and generate a better standard of living for their families. Quinchia is located in the hub of the Colombian coffee-growing region, with optimal soil for coffee crops. Among its production, APECAFEQ has a high-quality organic coffee, which thrives because of the sustainable agricultural practices members commit to. Despite the political turmoil this region many times faces, APECAFEQ members remain true to the sustainable development model, always promoting organic and shade-grown production, stable incomes and the advancement of women. Since Fair Trade certification in 1995, APECAFEQ has continued to positively impact the region.
 

Quotable

Without the resources from Fair Trade, the association wouldn’t have been able to finance new projects aimed at improving hygiene, such as the new bathrooms and septic systems installed. For coffee farmers, hygiene is amongst their greatest needs and now, many members are enjoying these benefits.  

Alberto Becerra, APECAFEQ Member

Programs

Productive Capacity Investment

APECAFEQ uses Fair Trade premiums to reduce debts and build the financial viability of the cooperative. It has funded improvements to storage facilities, coffee drying shelters and purchased spare parts for pulpers. They also conduct soil analyses and recommend methods for land rejuvenation.

Rotating Credit Program

APECAFEQ maintains a rotating credit fund for its members for loans to help improve farms, or to generate other small businesses. The credit system is open to spouses and of-age children.

New Systems and Technical Assistance

The cooperative provides training in organic farming methods and hired a technical adviser to assist members with organic conversion. They have implemented a new waste management system for the community in order to protect the area’s water and assist members with the installation of septic systems.