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Producer Profiles

ASOBAGRI - Asociación Barillense de Agricultores

ASOBAGRI was founded in 1989 by 20 K’Anjob’Al Mayan coffee and cardamom farmers, with the intention of improving the social and economic conditions of all farmers. A period of political violence and financial destitution followed, during which many small farmers abandoned their land. Since then, however, ASOBAGRI has grown and now counts on more than 1100 members, all growing organic coffee, and over 200 more in transition to organic cultivation. The cooperative is incredibly diverse representing 67 different Mayan communities.
 

Quotable

“In 2005 I went to the US to find work, but I came back in 2012 because I missed my family. I was able to bring back a little bit of capital to invest in my own land. And while I lost 40% of my production to rust, ASOBAGRI has helped me renovate 80% of my plants. In two more years, it will be completely renovated with healthy, rust-resistant plants.”  

Jorge Lopez, Member

Programs

Productivity & Quality

By implementing solar drying tables and demonstrative plots with rust-resistant coffee varieties, ASOBAGRI members are more effectively increasing the quality of their product. ASOBAGRI also used the premium to train 34 internal inspectors to better comply with environmental norms.

Producer Organizations

In order for elected leaders and employees to be effective, ASOBAGRI invested the premium in capacity-building. ASOBAGRI also invested in both organic and fair trade inspection and certification to maintain access to higher-priced, international markets.

Farmer Finances

ASOBAGRI uses the premium to give microcredits for post-harvest, female members’ activities, emergency funds, and health. This allows members to improve production, implement value-adding coffee production alternatives, and contributes to their overall wellbeing.

Communities

ASOBAGRI complements the federal social security that members receive with the premium, and promotes education of members and their children. The coop also implements basic medicine for employee emergencies, and promotes health and child development.