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Producer Profiles

ASOBAGRI - Asociación Barillense de Agricultores

Depulping coffee
Members’ children being recognized for achievements in gender and generational turnover trainings
María Pascual Mateo from Jolomtaj
Located in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, 200 miles north of the capital city, 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 1107 members, all growing organic coffee, and over 200 more in transition to organic cultivation. The cooperative is incredibly diverse representing 67 different Mayan communities. Of the 1107 active members growing organic coffee, about 95 are women who produce and process their own. Cooperative members grow high-quality, shade-grown coffee using organic compost. Since Fair Trade Certification in 1999, ASOBAGRI has enjoyed significantly higher revenues. They are now certified Organic, Café Feminino and Bird Friendly.


Since 2010, I have received economic support for my daughter’s education. The Fair Trade Premium allowed me to pay for her education. She is currently getting her degree in Nursing.  

Juan Mateo Diego, ASOBAGRI member

“ A tree fell over my house and destroyed it completely. ASOBAGRI supported me with funds and I was able to reconstruct my house. This type of support encourages us to work in coffee and with ASOBAGRI.  

Tomas Mateo, ASOBAGRI member


Education and Development

ASOBAGRI’s members decided to invest social premium in scholarships for their children. In 2013, a total of 82 women and 175 men were able to get these grants.

Independent Income for Women

ASOBAGRI supported a program led by women called “Café con Manos de Mujer” (In Spanish. It means: “Coffee from women’s hands”), which helps women landowners generate independent income to supplement their husbands income and make it easier for both to look after their dependents, particularly their children.

Support for Natural Disasters

ASOBAGRI also created an emergency fund to support members in case of natural disasters. Bad weather conditions usually cause home rooftops damages and landslides on roads.