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Producer Profiles

CESMACH - Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre Chiapas

CESMACH is a coffee cooperative located in the southern highlands of Chiapas, within the buffer zone of the El Triunfo Biosphere. El Triunfo is an area of great ecological importance because it contains two of the most complex and beautiful ecosystems in the world: the cloud and tropical rain forest. El Triunfo’s unique ecosystems are home to an incredible variety of plant and animal species considered rare or in danger of extinction. CESMACH members are deeply committed to practicing sustainable agriculture to protect the biosphere and the natural resources within its boundaries. In 2003 the organization was awarded the Ecological Merit Award by the Mexican government for its efforts to protect endangered plant species. The organization is working towards becoming 100% organic.
 

Quotable

“The greatest problem right now is coffee leaf rust. All of us, as members of CESMACH, subsist uniquely off of coffee. If it weren’t for CESMACH, and the minimum price and premium of Fair Trade, we would not exist. We could not have combatted rust on our own because of lack of resources, so we would have nothing to harvest.”  

Lilia Perezco, Member

Programs

Communities

In order to conduct more effective and professional meetings, CESMACH members voted to construct 13 community buildings with the Fair Trade premium, equipped with basis office amenities.

Productivity & Quality

Since CESMACH members were heavily affected by rust, members voted to invest in plant renovation and rust management practices. Part of the investment went towards a centralized nursery that is home to 4,500 rust resistant plants. CESMACH technicians also assisted members with their own nurseries, generating varieties that are particularly well-suited to each member’s farm environment. Additionally the premium was used to facilitate trainings and technical assistance to strengthen organic production methods.