CORCASAN - Coop Regional Cafetaleros San Juan Rio Coco
For small farmers, financing is one of the most difficult barriers entering larger, more lucrative markets. Some groups are able to start small with government financing, in the hopes of scaling their business, increasing sales and eventually securing private financing in order to sell internationally.
This was CORCASAN’s strategy for years, yet unfortunately the group was not able to access financing; that is until they achieved Fair Trade Certification in 2005. Fair Trade quickly helped CORCASAN gain international reputability as a seller. They started to win external financing deals to finance pre-harvest costs and they began to export internationally and independently – a huge step for a small cooperative of 160 farmers. This far flung community in the hills of San Juan del Rio Coco was now selling directly to multi-million dollar import agencies in the United States and Europe.
Some of the benefits CORCASAN began to see included increased access to badly needed financing, international buyers, community development projects, funds to provide scholarships for members and their children, training programs to improve the quality of their coffee and more opportunities for women. Today, women make up over half of CORSACAN's staff.
The cooperative has set aside a higher education fund to assist member and their children attend training and classes to improve their products. The fund covers transportation and additional materials.
Growing a Healthy Community
CORCASAN has been providing trainings and seminars in how woman affiliates to the cooperative can prevent cervical cancer. They also provide transportation for medical care.
This past year CORCASAN has decided to invest on their farms and giving back to their members in order for them to further harvest higher quality coffee more efficiently.