Producer Profiles

ASSOPRO - Associação dos Pequenos Produtores de Ouro Fino

ASSOPRO is a relatively new producer organization located in Ouro Fino, Minas Gerais in southern Brazil, a mountainous region intercut with beautiful valleys and altitudes ranging from 800 to 1,600 meters. The cooperative became Fair Trade Certified™ in late 2009 and completed its first Fair Trade Certified sale soon after. The association voted to use the first round of Fair Trade premiums to rent a space for their headquarters.

The association is one of fifteen Brazilian Fair Trade Certified producer groups that participated in the 2007-2010 Responsible Sourcing Partnership (RSP) project. The RSP project is a result of a partnership between USAID, Fair Trade USA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and SEBRAE-MG designed to improve the quality of Brazilian coffee, increase market linkages and raise producer capacity. Through the partnership, ASSOPRO participated in numerous trainings to improve coffee quality. The events and workshops included cooperative governance, business management, cupping and post-harvest best practices trainings.
 

Quotable

For us producers, the association is the best way to add value to our product and take care of nature and our families. The current market price, conditions of production and lack of incentives make the lives of many rural producers very hard.  

Jose Helias Goes, Assopro Member

Programs

New Offices and Production Equipment

ASSOPRO members completed their first Fair Trade sale in early 2010. The association voted to use the first round of premium funds to invest in infrastructure and tools for quality improvement. The young association began by renting a space for their office and cooperative headquarters. Later, they purchased scale equipment for measuring humidity and coffee hulling machinery. These type of improvements would enable ASSOPRO to grow while maintaining the high quality of their coffee supply. A used car was also purchased so elected representatives could visit producers in remote and difficult to access areas.