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.
Today Coocafe has over 4,000 members who are small producers. Fair Trade is very important for us. We received a large list from Fair Trade when we got certified in 2005. Today we have been Fair Trade certified for 5 years. ”
Fernando R. Cerqueira, Coocafe president
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. ”
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
Environmental Standards Implementation Program
COOCAFE is working to implement responsible environmental practices. It plans to hire technicians dedicated to the analysis of environmental needs who will work alongside cooperative members to implement new strategies. Technicians will pay particular attention to the Fair Trade environmental standards.
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.