Producer Profiles

COOCAMINAS - Cooperativa Pequenos Cafeicultores Poco Fundo

COOCAMINAS, or the Cooperativa dos Pequenos Cafeicultores de Poco Fundo, is one entity within Brazil’s growing community of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee cooperatives. It was chosen to participate, with another 14 Brazilian Fair Trade Certified producer groups, to participate in the 2007-2010 Responsible Sourcing Partnership (RSP) project. The RSP project was a result of a partnership between USAID, Fair Trade USA, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and SEBRAE-MG designed to improve the quality of Brazilian coffee, increase market linkages and raise producer capacity. Through the partnership, COOCAMINAS participated in numerous trainings to improve coffee quality. Events and workshops taught cooperative governance, business management, cupping and post-harvest best practices. Through the RSP project, COOCAMINAS secured funds to purchase new equipment and construct a mobile coffee processing mill. The new infrastructure allows for increased quality control, overall efficiency and lower production costs.
 

Quotable

COOCAMINAS loaned me $4,349.00 at a low-interest rate through the rotating credit program. With the loan I was able to make my past due payment for fertilizer. Making this payment allowed me to wait to sell my coffee on better Fair Trade terms. I didn’t have the need any more to sell it to intermediaries at a value much lower than it’s worth.  

Sebastião Célio Vitoriano

Programs

Low-Interest, Short-Term Loans

COOCAMINAS has used its premium funds to provide low interest loans for members. These short-term loans prevent members from resolving financial needs with predatory lenders. Members can now meet their daily expenses as they wait to sell their coffee on the best possible terms.

New Warehouse for Storage

On a plot of land purchased with Fair Trade premium funds, COOCAMINAS constructed a warehouse for additional storage. This purchase of land and equipment was approved democratically by the cooperative’s General Assembly.