COCLA - Central de Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras
It used to take months for industry news to travel to cooperative members residing within the 35 kilometer (22 miles) region. We’d share news through personal visits, word-of-mouth and letters. Now, far more detailed information can be communicated, and at a much faster pace. - COCLA cooperative officer speaking about the radio show The Cooperative Voice, partly funded by Fair Trade premiums ”
Fair Trade is a more than an alternative, it gives us a new hope. ”
Carmen Leon Mamnia, COCLA Manager
If we did not have Fair Trade we would not have adequate resources to overcome the coffee crisis. We hope that with Fair Trade we will continue to receive a stable price for our coffee, thereby enabling us to continue investing in the quality of our product. ”
Guillermo Aquilar Lozano, ex President of COCLA
With 23 cooperatives and over 6,500 member farmers, COCLA has literally tons of product to transport from the rural Andean regions of Peru to the coast where the cooperatives coffee, tea and cocoa are exported. In 2007, the cooperative invested $3,040 in repairing and maintaining its transportation vehicles.
Reforestation, Nutrition and Organic Agriculture Funding
The cooperative has implemented various educational and environmental projects, including the creation of a technical school, which is open to all community members. The cooperative offers a variety of trainings, workshops, internships, courses to farmers to educate them in the latest agricultural techniques, organic farming practices and even family nutrition. Premium funds have specifically helped fund a reforestation project, training for members in organic agriculture, and a crop diversification project that significantly improves the nutrition of farming families and provides them with an additional source of income.
Agronomist and Technician Salaries
COCLA provides technical assistance and trainings to its 6,500 member farmers and the cooperatives to which they belong. In 2007, COCLA invested $50,000 in premium funds towards salaries and fees for agronomists and other experts to train and teach farmers the latest farming techniques. Organic farming represents 55% of COCLA's production and requires more labor intensive farming methods. The agronomists the cooperative contracts help the farmers learn to employ these techniques and processes efficiently and with minimal waste.