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.
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. ”
I hope the US consumer likes our product. We choose to make a good and healthy product. We like good things and want others to enjoy good things too. ”
Irene Tavares Vega, member
In addition to providing technical assistance, the coop also does very strong work to promote social programs and the environment. In addition to working with the farmer, we really work to educate his wife just as much and the young people who live in our community. ”
Fernando R. Cerqueira, Coocafe president
Rural schools built for further education
Coocafé built rural schools throughout the region, providing basic education to an average of 1,000 children each year.
Garden project for environmental awareness
A garden project was developed in schools throughout the community to raise awareness about cooperativism, the environment and conscious consumption.
Fair Trade funds will be used to purchase new equipment for the Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo warehouses. This will help increase quality and production.