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Producer Profiles

ASOANEI - Productores Agroecológicos Santa Marta y Perijá

ASOANEI is an association of indigenous and small farmer agro-ecological producers from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía del Perijá. It was founded in 1996 to create an organic farming program that promotes the preservation of indigenous and peasant cultures in north-eastern Colombia. The association is comprised of more than 600 indigenous families belonging to four distinct ethnic groups: the Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas, and Kankuamos, as well as small farmers who share a holistic view of forests, rivers, mountains, and animal protection and who value an emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Through the conservation and care for natural resources, ASOANEI seeks to improve living conditions for members and their communities while upholding the values of their ancestral heritage.
 

Quotable

“What motivates us is the ability to transmit the benefit of Fair Trade to our members, through investments and by paying them the best price for the product.”  

Nereyda Polo Herrera, Office Manager

Programs

Communities

ASOANEI used the premium to build new water filtration systems and trained members on how to properly use and maintain the systems in order to ensure longevity of the investment. ASOANEI members also benefit from new electricity and solar powered plants for local schools, improving quality of life. Since combatting generational succession was also identified as a priority, ASOANEI helps cover costs for children of producers to attend school.

Farmer Finances

In order for members to effectively prepare for the harvest and to provide all necessary inputs to coffee plants, the cooperative voted to implement a microcredit lending program. Through this use of the premium members are able to have the capital they need.

Productivity & Quality

ASOANEI members voted to invest the premium in building wet mills, more efficient drying tables, and training technicians, members, and personnel on organic agricultural practices as well as certification compliance. All of these investments were made with the goal of improved quality. Members also had access to improved infrastructure, fertilizer, and new depulping equipment.