COOCAFE - Cooperativa dos Cafeicultores da Região de Lajinha
COOCAFE is one of several Brazilian producer groups participating in the Responsible Sourcing Partnership (RSP) project. The RSP project is a result of a partnership between USAID, Fair Trade USA, Walmart Stores, Inc. and SEBRAE-MG, designed to improve the quality of Brazilian coffee, increase market linkages and raise producer capacity. Through participation in the RSP project, COOCAFE has improved its infrastructure which has resulted in higher quality coffee, and has benefited from targeted training programs and increased contact with the U.S. coffee market.
When the first Fair Trade meeting was held years ago, myself and the Fair Trade representative were the only women present at the meeting. The other women thought it was men's work. Today the meetings are full of women.
Conceção pez de Costa, 1st woman Fiscal Advisor
In response to the Question, "What would you say to a US consumer of your coffee?"
Irene Tavares Vega
Fair Trade has a lot of benefits because we sell the coffee at a better price and now agronomists come here to help and advise us. It helps pay for the coffee sacks that the cooperative provides us with. ”
Grant for Coffee Sacks
COOCAFE subsidized the total costs of coffee sacks for its members. The cooperative gave sacks to each member in accordance with how much coffee they were selling through the cooperative.
The cooperative elected to invest their Fair Trade social premium in contracting 6 agriculturalists to provide consulting assistance to members looking to improve the quality of their crops. The cooperative also funded 6 motorcycles for the technical assistants.
Project Live Free
Project Live Free is a public program in the COOCAFE community that focuses on drug prevention as well as the recovery and social reintegration of former addicts.