Producer Profiles

ASPROCAFE - Asprocafé Ingrumá

Founded in 1991, the Asprocafé Ingrumá cooperative is located in the western highlands of the state of Caldas, Colombia. All of Ingrumá’s producers live in four protected indigenous zones. Eighty percent of cooperative members are from the indigenous Embera-Chami ethnic group, and nearly 40 percent of Ingrumá’s farmers are women. The cooperative is notable for its sophisticated level of organization, its transparency and its adherence to democratic principles. They became Fair Trade Certified in 1992 and have been exporting coffee to the U.S. since 1999.
 

Quotable

I am the secretary of the Association of Small Coffee Producers. We have been part of the Fair Trade program since 1992. One of our flagship projects is the Women’s Project, which supports women in productive farm initiatives. It includes education about gender issues, community activities, classes about nutritious cooking at low cost, how to use traditional medicines and how to make beauty and hair products from medicinal plants. Thanks to resources from Fair Trade, women in our association play a very important role.  

María Rocío Motato Suárez

Thanks to the Fair Trade market, I’ve had the opportunity to become a delegate for the association and then president of the association. I’ve acquired much knowledge on Fair Trade and how it benefits not just my community, but indirectly to a much wider audience through our social programs and campaigns. Fair Trade has improved our livelihood; there is no doubt about this.  

Evelio Aguirre Tapasco

Fair Trade has to be a relationship of confidence between producers and consumers. We know there are processors in the middle, or other mediators in the market, but in the end, consumers like you are dependent on us, and we are dependent on you. Fair Trade is not just a label, it is a way of life.  

María Rocío Motato Suárez

Programs

Improved Water Systems

With Fair Trade funds, the cooperative was able to upgrade their water sources and supply more than 108 families with drinking water. These improvements also reduced contamination from runoff and non-biodegradable trash.

Low Interest Credit Program

The cooperative implemented a credit program offering farmers low interest loans for machinery, livestock and biodigestor purchases. The credit program also supports initiaves to transition into organic agriculture and develop women and community social programs.

School Lunches

The cooperative invests a portion of Fair Trade funds in school lunches for over 1,000 low income students attending 67 different schools. They also awards scholarships to selected members' children attending universities outside the municipality of Río Sucio, and 35 students attending an agricultural technical program at the University of Santa Rosa de Cabal.