Producer Profiles

Boa Esperança - Coop Cafe Especial Boa Esperança Dos Costas

The Cooperativa dos Produtores de Cafe Especial de Boa Esperança (Associação Dos Costas) is an association of small-scale farmers located in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. The organization was founded in March 1989 and has since grown to represent over 80 producers and their families. Associação dos Costas is passionate about improving the quality of its coffee and is devoted to preserving the environment. The association completed several extensive soil analyses and geographic mapping projects in 2009 as well as quality improvement trainings. Producers are motivated to apply their new skills and continue improving their crop.

Associação Dos Costas 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, Associação dos Costas participated in cooperative governance, business management, cupping and post-harvest best practices trainings to improve their product quality.
 

Quotable

Today, I am conscious of the environment. I am aware that in doing so, I am improving my quality of life and that of my family's. I feel proud to participate in the association. I feel I am valued as a producer and I am making new friends. I am also acquiring new and valuable knowledge on sustainable agriculture.  

Antonio Fernandes, Associação dos Costas Member

Programs

Productive Investments

With community development premiums, the cooperative purchased a truck and a depulping machine with a stone mill for members' use. It also used Fair Trade premiums to continue offering trainings in improving quality.

Rehab and Dental Health Programs

A partnership with the local government helped the organization provide dental service and a drug rehabilitation program to association members and community residents.

School Materials and Computer Lab

Associação Dos Costas dedicated a portion of their Fair Trade to fund materials and equipment for the local kindergarden. They also constructed a computer lab in the Community Center, open to all, not just association members.