Producer Profiles

ASOCASE - La Asociación de Cañicultores Organicos de la Zona Central

The sugarcane farmers of Guarambare, Paraguay formed La Asociación de Cañicultores Orgánicos de la Zona Central (ASOCASE) in 2002 in hopes of improving the living conditions of their agricultural community. ASOCASE became Fair Trade Certified™ in 2004. The small-scale family farmers favor traditional techniques, cultivating mainly organic sugar.

Guarambare is located just 35 kilometers from the capital city of Asunción. This proximity brings both opportunities, such as access to cultural and educational resources, and challenges primarily because some workers choose to commute to the city for other jobs. As a result, the association and its members sometimes face a scarcity of workers in the region during harvest time.

The success of the organization can be measured in the doubling of its membership since 2004, as well as in the twelvefold growth of its annual Fair Trade eligible production. Thanks to the process of collective negotiation, association members are receiving a better price for their sugarcane, and because of the production and sales of organic and Fair Trade sugarcane, a community of some 5,000 people have improved livelihoods.
 

Quotable

Through the association, we are now able to access medical and dental services, and when we need a tractor to help expand our crop, the association provide us with this as well.  

Gustavo Vallejos

There are more benefits and services available to us. The association prepared a demonstrative parcel on my farm, where they financed the planting of a new variety, and in return I agreed to provide 50 percent of the first year yield for seeds free of charge.  

Andres Orue

Programs

An Optimistic Future

Future plans for the use of the Fair Trade premiums include fertilizer distribution, crop subsidies, tractor usage and maintenance, and procurement purchases of other machinery. ASOCASE also plans to launch a website for their cooperative in the future.

Medical and Dental Care

Fair Trade premiums have helped members of ASOCASE and their families obtain subsidized medical and dental care.

Farm Equipment and Fertilizer

ASOCASE used premium money to help subsidize farm equipment and purchase fertilizer.