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Producer Profiles

CESMACH - Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre Chiapas

CESMACH, or Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas, 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. The organization became Fair Trade certified for coffee in 2001 and in 2003, they were awarded the Ecological Merit Award by the Mexican government for its efforts to protect endangered plant species. The organization is working towards 100 percent organic methods.

Many of CESMACH's members have been able to pay off their personal debts and make necessary improvements to their homes; thanks to the higher price they have receive from their Fair Trade Certified coffee sales. The organization now offers full pre-harvest financing for members, assuring farmers with the resources they need to consistently produce high quality coffee.
 

Quotable

We have been receiving training on how to combat coffee rust and about organic coffee production. Now we can sell our coffee and earn better prices.  

C. Benjamín Gordillo Lopez, CESMACH member

This year was not good. We received lower prices due coffee rust and low production. Middlemen took advantage of the situation. Thanks to the social premium, I was able to improve my income especially after the harvest was over.  

Humberto Velásquez, CESMACH member.

Programs

Higher Price for Producers

In Chiapas, the availability of high quality, organic coffee makes for a competitive market. In order for CESMACH to offer a viable price for coffee, they returned $78,782 of the premium to their members.

Organic Farming Training

60 workshops on organic production were implemented. As a result of this process, almost all of CESMACH members received their organic certification.

Rust Management

CESMACH worked to ensure new plant resistance against climate change and rust. CESMACH invested $36,022 in insurance, producer nurseries, and the renovation of at least 450 hectares of coffee with rust-resistant varieties.