Producer Profiles

FCC - Federación Campesina del Cauca

FCC administration and producers on a pose for the photo from a "chiva" bus in Cauca.
Regular communication between producers and cooperative staff helps build trust. Here, FCC producers meet with staff.
Federacion Campesina del Cauca (FCC) was founded in 1971. It currently has 676 members, farmers of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian origin who live in Cauca, the Southwest region of Colombia. Prior to the creation of the Federacion Campesinas del Cauca, the coffee growers in this area produced very low quality coffee beans, used mostly in instant coffee. Coffee was sold for very low prices and provided little income for the producers.

With the help of national and international organizations and governments, FCC created a development plan and received training on how to produce higher quality coffee for markets in the U.S. and Europe.

Becoming Fair Trade CertifiedTM has impacted the producers greatly by offering them access to markets in the United States and Europe. Working together, the group has strengthened the vision of the cooperative, focusing on its social and environmental values. The Fair Trade model has generated increased self esteem because the cooperative members have direct contact with their clients. There has been a shift in attitude of the producers as a result. They now are very focused on quality and consistency and are much more responsible with how they regulate themselves. They are proud to see their products in specialty markets.

By being Fair Trade Certified and having a direct line to markets, the production process has changed and is more consolidated. They have a permanent presence in the communities and are able to provide more services to the cooperative members.

The cooperative is working towards training its members and reinvesting premium money in nurseries to grow new plants that will be more productive than the current old plants. Additionally, they are also developing technical assistance workshops to provide support in producing higher quality cherries.

In the future they hope to use their Fair Trade premium money to educate the children of cooperative members about the cooperative so they feel connected to and understand the vision for the future. They also want to implement health and family development programs for association members.
 

Quotable

Thanks to the Fair Trade certification, we have been able to meet the other actors and links in the coffee supply chain –an opportunity which we would not have had without the certification. We’ve also been able to participate in decision-making to determine the best uses for the premium.  

Franklin Alejandro Acosta, Certification Officer

The Rotating Credit Fund for Production Needs is a great opportunity for producers to access credit with fewer restrictions and invest in the production and quality of their coffee.  

Franklin Alejandro Acosta

Programs

Support for Transition to Organic Practices

The FCC organizes training workshops for producers who would like to transition from conventional to organic agriculture.

Rotating Credit Fund for Production Needs

Members established this fund so they are able to finance projects aimed at increasing yields and coffee quality on their farms.