COOPETARRAZU - Cooperativa Caficultores y Servicios Tarrazu
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.
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
Frankly, Fair Trade has brought us more money for our products, but that’s not the most important gain. We’ve not only been able to sell our coffee to more markets, but more importantly, we’ve realized that if we abuse our workers and our natural resources, our way of life will disappear – both the coffee production industry that sustains us and the beautiful environment where we live will be ruined for future generations. ”
Felix Monge, Coopetarrazú Member
Women Entrepreneurial Program
The cooperative has been developing a program to strengthen community values on women in the workforce promoting empowerment and leadership through talks, conferences, community meetings and innovative project fairs. The program was formed by a group of women from different regions of the Costa Rican coffee industry working together to benefit underprivileged women. The program has held capacity building workshops on project implementation, hosted meetings in each community exploring women's leadership and set up a conference on women's development potential in the business world. The conference had a workshop on farm accounting and administration and featured a panel of successful female entrepreneurs.
Purchase of Vehicles
The co-op purchased vehicles to assist members in transporting their coffee to regional purchasing facilities.
Educational Program for Sustainable Production
COOPETARRAZU launched a project entitled the Education Program for Sustainable Production to increase sustainable coffee farming practices and promote youth involvement and education on natural resources, biodiversity, management, production and coffee quality. The five month program consisted of trainings, field visits, presentations and dialogues on coffee farm flora and fauna and soil health. Part of the program was dedicated exclusively for young adults, having them participate in field research and truly understand the significance of biodiversity.