Producer Profiles

COAGRONEVADA - Cooperativa de Caficultores y Agricultores de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Producer member Genry Sanjuan poses with his daughter and home –before and after improvements made with Fair Trade Premiums.
Cooperativa de Caficultores y Agricultores de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (COAGRONEVADA) is composed of 21 base level coffee cooperatives from three different regions in Colombia--Magdalena, La Guajira and Cesar. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region is located in the northeastern part of Colombia. This area is home to many indigenous populations that have been affected by widespread drug trafficking and guerilla warfare. Fair Trade prices have given local and indigenous farmers a viable alternative to growing illegal cash crops. Coffee has become a cultural and living tradition passed from generation to generation. Coffee from the Sierra Nevada is generally smooth and medium bodied, mild in acidity and with a fragrant aroma. Organic coffee beans are grown under full shade, predominantly from trees of the traditional variety and at estimated elevations between 3,300 to 4,300 feet.
 

Quotable

This year, I feel happy because despite coffee low prices, I was able to start fixing my house. I also received organic fertilizers to grow coffee.  

Rosalba Corredor, Small Producer

With low coffee prices and the rust outbreak in 2012, both of which have greatly affected us, if we weren’t receiving the Fair Trade Premium producers would have already completely abandoned their farms and moved to the city. Since we only harvest once a year, many young farmers have had to seek alternative income sources to support their families between harvests.  

Sandra Palacio, General Manager

Programs

Renovation of Producers’ Homes and Processing Facilities

COAGRONEVADA invested Fair Trade Premium to improve producers’ homes and processing facilities by distributing construction materials and supplies. In May 2013, small producer Rosalba Corredor, received $US860 for construction materials and fertilizers. She lives on her farm with her son –acting as full time mother and farmer. She wakes at 4:00 am to prepare her children’s food, straps a machete to her waist, protects her hair with a mesh and works her land. At least 43 producers have made improvements to their house rooftops from this program.

Improving Skills, Crop Yields, and Quality of Life

COAGRONEVADA's General Assembly approved the implementation and strengthening of the following programs with Fair Trade premiums: enhance source water pollution control, support productivity and product quality, and improve children' access to education by distributing college scholarships among it's members. These programs will be financed with support from Fair Trade premiums in 2014.