CECANOR is an organization where 50 percent of members are small producers located in areas of extreme poverty. The organization has prioritized using resources towards capacity building and member empowerment. All of CECANOR’s producers now have additional production areas; have purchased some means of transportation, or a small property in the city. The majority of the members now have goals of furthering the education of their children and many currently have children attending university.
With CECANOR, women have had the chance to participate in community projects and serve as leaders in the community and region. With Café Femenino in place, men have also begun to recognize the education of women is better for their families and for society in general. Women have earned a place of respect and power in the family and abuse of women has decreased considerably.
Fair Trade has benefited all members despite us being dispersed throughout Northeastern Peru. We have strengthened our organization with technical assistance programs, trainings and certifications. We can now allow our members to make small investments to improve our holdings and infrastructure, and produce a higher quality product. ”
Fair Trade has improved our quality of life. These last few years we’ve seen better incomes and the majority of producers have been able to purchase additional, small plots of land. Fair Trade has also increased participation by women in the organization and community. Now with our own brand, 'Café Femenino,’ we are able to decide how our incomes will be spent and which of our children will go to school. Before, only our husbands decided what to do with generated incomes. We feel we have more respect at home and in our organization now. Our opinions are listened to and taken seriously. ”
Fair Trade has made us more visible. We are now recognized by local and regional governments as worthy of receiving government funds and support for community development projects. ”
Women Community Development Projects
The co-op has implemented multiple women-lead projects with the help of the American Foundation for Feminine Coffee (Fundación Americana de Café Feminino), such as planting gardens, raising animals and improving kitchens. The organization used Fair Trade premium funds to provide women with the technical assistance and training necessary for the completion of these community development projects.
Holiday Gift Distribution
During Christmas, baskets with chocolate milk, cake and toys were given to children of producers from high poverty-stricken aeas. This program was funded by Fundacion Americana de Cafe Femenino.
Food Security Program and Education Workshops
Education Workshops work to increase the understanding of nutritional value of staples that farmers produce in their own farms, like quinoa. Workshops teach the community how to prepare highly nutritious soups, the importance of sanitation-such as hand-washing, better food health and safety, and improved kitchen hygiene and security. With the education program, agro-forestry gardens, quinoa farming and raising initiatives have also taken form.