CEPCO - Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de Café del Estado de Oaxaca, AC
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 33 percent of CEPCO's members are women. CEPCO promotes women’s participation in all cooperative roles - local, regional and national. Cooperative 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.
The benefit of Fair Trade is having the security of a minimum price. ”
Leoncio Martínez Hernández, CEPCO Member
Having access to a market where there is a minimum price gives value to the work of the small producer. ”
Laura Aguilar, Technical Crew Member
New Land Acquired
Fair Trade premiums have given two member organizations the opportunity to expand and make a joint purchase of land. With this new land the cooperatives are able to produce more harvest to meet the high market demands.
CEPCO used some of their premium funds to purchase chairs to seat all of their members at their General Assembly. They also invested in a vehicle to transport bags of coffee from the drying sites which greatly reduced transportation costs.
Women Learn New Skills
CEPCO used premium funds to create a platform that educated women about management skills. As a result of the training, a group of women opened their own stationary shop, which brought in additional household income.