COORPOL is one of fifteen Brazilian Fair Trade Certified producer groups that participated in the 2007-2010 Responsible Sourcing Partnership (RSP) project. The RSP project is 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, COORPOL participated in numerous trainings to improve coffee quality. The events and workshops included cooperative governance, business management, cupping and post-harvest best practices trainings.
Fair Trade is helping us to have direct contact with buyers, without intermediaries. Also, the courses on improving coffee quality that Fair Trade USA conducted in partnership with SEBRAE-MG helped us form a better vision of how we can participate in the community and better preserve the environment , the land we work and live on. ”
José Rogério, Coorpol Member
Investment in Transportation and Coffee Processing Equipment
COORPOL purchased six bicycles for technical assistance workers to use as they travel from farm to farm. In 2008, the cooperative also invested in new coffee processing equipment for the main warehouse. In 2009, COORPOL invested much of the Fair Trade premium in building producer members capacity in machine use, proper handling of agro-chemicals and coffee production best practices.
Development of Rural Schools and Environmental Awareness Education
The cooperative developed rural schools that provide basic education to nearly 1,000 children within the region each year. COORPOL also developed a school garden project in elementary schools to raise awareness of cooperatives, the environment and conscious consumption.
Investment in Women's Technical Education
The cooperative established regular meetings for its female members to educate them about coffee cultivation and other alternative sources of income for their families.