Producer Profiles

CECOVASA - Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras Valles Sandia

Coffee cherries from a plant. Image from CECOVASA's website gallery.
CECOVASA, or the Central de Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras de los Valles de Sandia was founded in 1970 when a group of coffee farmers in the northern Lake Titicaca region of Peru came together to sell their coffee. Members of the organization are primarily of indigenous, Quechua and Aymara, descent. Up until their unification, farmers sold their coffee beans to intermediaries who typically paid less than half of the market price. Today, the cooperative provides a stronger alternative for producers and is one of the largest small producer organizations in the country. CECOVASA and its nine base cooperatives became Fair Trade Certified in 1993, and began to export their coffee directly to U.S. and European markets. CECOVASA members and staff work hard to ensure high quality coffee.

In 2013, CECOVASA was declared winner of the National Peruvian Coffee Quality Competition for the sixth time, out of a total of nine annual competitions. Not only is the organization at the forefront of coffee quality, they’re also spreading their knowledge with an on-site International Coffee Quality School, made possible with Fair Trade premiums. Close to 50 percent of CECOVASA’s members produce organic coffee, thanks to an organic conversion program that began in 1997. Find out more about their programs below and reasons for Fair Trade Certification below.
 

Quotable

CECOVASA’s improvement in coffee quality is because of Fair Trade. Fair Trade has helped finance our quality laboratories, supplies and the professional training of our cupper.  

CECOVASA Management

In July 2013, 10 representatives from coffee organizations in Haiti traveled to CECOVASA’s headquarters for a three-week training on cupping, production and quality control. The Haitian visitors participated in workshops with Tibed Yurja Añamuro, CECOVASA’s Q-certified cupper, focusing on deepening their knowledge of protocols and criteria for specialty coffee cupping and production techniques.  

From CECOVASA Press Release

Fair Trade, since 1993, has kept us united at CECOVASA.  

Beltrán Apaza, Commercial Manager

Programs

Women's Empowerment Programs

In order to promote and protect women's roles in rural society, CECOVASA established the Committee for the Development of Women (CODEMU), which provides a forum for discussion and training on topics such as first aid, leadership, gender roles and animal husbandry. The committee's goal is to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. More than 775 women participate in CODEMU.

Investing in Productivity

CECOVASA built a cupping laboratory at the central organic coffee storage facility and instituted a quality-control training program at the Peruvian Coffee Board’s cupping laboratory for workers in charge of storage and shipment. Cooperative volunteers installed a sewer system, and the cooperative contributed funds to the construction of a hydroelectric plant in nearby Tunquimayo, which supplies energy to the region. With Fair Trade funds, the cooperative was also able to purchase eight computers, five printers and three photocopiers for its office. It also invested in farming equipment including 40 de-pulping machines, 1,000 pruning saws, and three humidity scales to help maintain de-pulping machines in excellent conditions.