Producer Profiles

CEPCO - Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de Café del Estado de Oaxaca, AC

Renovation of coffee farms
CEPCO, or the Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de Café del Estado de Oaxaca, is an organization of small producers who, apart from growing coffee sustainably, aim to transform the living conditions of member farmers and their families. They are developing economic, social and cultural programs to overcome conditions of extreme poverty, and build a sustainable way of life. Some of the cooperative’s objectives include promoting the participation of women, gaining more access to credit, promoting crop diversification and organic agriculture, and supporting public policies that promote development.

One of CEPCO's priorities is organic agriculture. CEPCO's decision to be organic is mainly out of concern for the health of the community. Organic practices will prevent hazardous wastes from contaminating local water sources and soil. They also grow organically to promote plant and animal diversity. Their agricultural practices encourage the presence of insects, reptiles, small mammals and, sometimes, deer.

Women’s participation is considered to be a fundamental part of their social development and forty three percent of CEPCO's members are women. CEPCO promotes women’s participation in all cooperative roles –locally, regionally and internationally. Organizations leaders recognize the unfavorable conditions women are more susceptible to and have encouraged open dialogue between male and female members to combat this inequality.

The majority of CEPCO's members have fewer than five hectares of land per family. They are indigenous people and speak one or more languages –Zap, Mixtec, Mixe, Chinanteco, Cuicatecos, and Mazatec.


Fund for Housing Improvements

Since 2011, CEPCO has leant money to members so that they may improve their homes.

Coffee Renovation

To combat the effects of coffee rust and climate change, CEPCO has invested a total of $500,000 in plantation renovation since the year 2000. In 2014 they were finally able to see the fruits of their efforts – the new coffee plants began producing. Beyond the Fair Trade premium, this project has been carried out in conjunction with local NGOs, as well as with CEPCO’s business partner, Equal Exchange.