Producer Profiles

COOPETARRAZU - Cooperativa Caficultores y Servicios Tarrazu

CoopeTarrazú producers holding plastic baskets as they collect coffee cherries.
Cooperativa de Caficultores y Servicios Múltiples de Tarrazú (COOPETARRAZU) is a coffee farming cooperative located in the central region of the San Marcos de Tarrazú Mountains, one of the most famous coffee-growing regions in Costa Rica. In 2005, the organization achieved Fair Trade certification, centralizing all industrial and commercial activities to environmentally sustainable practices that would increase the quality of their product and community members’ quality of life. COOPETARRAZU is the vanguard of environmentally-sound practices for coffee production.

In 2006, the cooperative established the Coffee Culture Quality of Life Sustainability Plan to track their environmental impact, implement better practices and create a culture of environmental respect among members and children. Using Fair Trade premiums, COOPETARRAZU has developed programs that provide training, capacity building and environmental leadership classes for its members. They aim to raise awareness of ecosystems using a strong educational curriculum for both adults and children.

Through the Quality of Life Sustainability Plan, COOPETARRAZU provides free soil analyses to its members. Traditionally, farmers use the same fertilizers as their neighbors, but customized soil analyses show farmers the impact topography and surrounding ecosystems have on their soil. Farmers in turn learn to adjust their practices according to their specific soil needs. Community youth participate by conducting environmental impact research and developing educational programs based on the tracking of birds and insect populations, learning about the important role these species play in coffee production and ecosystem maintenance.

The organization’s significant efforts to fundamentally change the way their community members consider and treat the environment has had incredible outcomes for farmers and their children. Fair Trade USA recognizes COOPETARRAZU for their profound commitment to conserving the health of the environment, managing waste and their conscious consumption of natural resources.
 

Quotable

I want to thank those who created the women's program at COOPETRRAZU. Among the many activities organized, I participated in the coffee cupping training where we learned the basics, such as the ratio between coffee and water and the cleaning of production equipment. We also gained valuable insight on how to satisfy the consumer market. I have always been interested in the coffee industry but I have never had the opportunity to learn about the planting, growth maintenance and harvest until now. At the cupping program, I was able to experience the transformation from plant to cup. Every step of the process is equally important and requires the efforts of everyone, men and women.  

Angelia Zunigo Godríez, cooperative member

My son never used gloves while he worked. Through the educational trainings, he learned to protect himself as he applied his new skills on sustainable agriculture. For this, I am so glad.  

William Naranjo Barrantes, board member

Programs

Sustainable Disposal of Wastewater

CoopeTarrazú provides the tools, education and technical support to enable produces to properly dispose the liquid runoff from coffee washing. Treating this wastewater is key to prevent harmful toxins from seeping into the soil.

Best Practices Shared at Workshops

Producers participate in regular training workshops and presentations to learn new production techniques and share best practices. Most trainings take place at the organization headquarters or on individual producers’ farms.

Reforestation and Recycling Programs

CoopeTarrazú distributes seeds to its members to promote reforestation and supports a municipal recycling program.