Producer Profiles

CASIL

Founded on January 6, 1966, the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera San Ignacio de Loyola, or CASIL, was one of the pioneer coffee organizations in Northwestern Peru. By the 1980’s, CASIL had grown into the largest and most influential organization in the region because of its increase in membership and coffee supplied to international markets. Towards the end of the decade, however, the international coffee crisis, the country’s political turmoil, and several internal administration difficulties paralyzed CASIL entirely for a lapse of 15 years. During this period, the organization went from 1500 members to 38.

In 2002, a new group of small coffee farmers took charge of the organization restructuring it to suit the 38 farmers who remained. All were determined to renew production and enter the specialty coffee market this time with a commitment to environmental sustainability and using the cooperative as the best mechanism to drive this unified effort. In 2003, members began working towards organic certification implementing the cooperative’s first internal control system and exported their first container of conventional coffee without any financing. This success led many institutions, clients, financers and even the cooperative’s own members to trust CASIL and their new leadership.

Today, CASIL has 190 members and produces an estimated two containers of coffee each year. They are both organic and Fair Trade Certified and export to markets in the U.S., Europe and Canada.
 

Programs

General Improvements

CASIL has used Fair Trade premiums in recent years to strengthen their cooperative by providing additional services to their members and improving administration. Specifically, funds have been allocated to their education committee to manage more and improved workshops and trainings for members, the board of directors, and cooperative workers. In their technical assistance division, funds have helped purchase raw materials, tools, jute bags, and equipment, and helped finance heavy machinery upkeep. Parts of the Fair Trade premium have been separated to pay for certification costs, including any internal inspection or outside audits, but the largest sum has been reserved to finance the cooperative’s business plan AGROIDEAS-CASIL.