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Producer Profiles

FIECH - Federación Indígena Ecológica de Chiapas

FIECH was formed in 1993 by Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Mame, Chuj and Zoque farmers who united three small cooperatives spread throughout the region. Over the years the Federation has continued to grow and is now made up of 19 cooperatives who represent 24 different communities in Chiapas. After the Federation gained Fair Trade certification in 1996, families have benefited from steadier and higher incomes through Fair Trade sales. The organization no longer relies on middlemen to commercialize their coffee. As a result of participating in international markets directly, FIECH members have become more educated and aware of how to market and sell their coffee to international clients.
 

Quotable

“Our members have found that through cooperative organization and participation in the Fair Trade system, they benefit more compared to conventional producers. Benefits range from improving productivity to upgraded facilities, allowing members to have a dignified and comfortable space to develop all activities inherent in coffee production, local organization, and management.”  

Antonio Morales, CERTIFICATION REPRESENTATIVE

Programs

Producer Organizations

FIECH invested the premium in both organic and Fair Trade certification costs. These value-add certifications allow FIECH to access higher-priced international coffee markets.

Productivity & Quality

Thanks to the Fair Trade premium, producers benefitted from direct technical assistance. FIECH was also able to upgrade facilities for collection and local meetings within all first-level organizations.

Farmer Finances

FIECH used part of the premium as a second payment to producers to compensate them for the high quality coffee they produced, and in turn incentive them away from selling to middle men.