Producer Profiles

GRAPOS - Grupo de Asesores de Producción Orgánica y Sustentables

Producers from Ejido Talquian, members of GRAPOS since 2007 and the first to have benefited from the Savings and Loan Bank.
The women producer group “Mujeres San Rafael” is dedicated to knitting work as additional means for income.
GRAPOS, or the Grupo de Asesores de Producción Orgánica y Sustentable, is a small coffee producer organization located near the town of Tapachula in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. The organization represents 2,600 small coffee farmers who work on an estimated 8,000 hectares of land. Most members come from the communities of Unión Juárez, Cacahoatan and Tapachula, all within Chiapas.

GRAPOS provides essential services to its members including access to finance, technical assistance and community development programs. According to the organization, Fair Trade has helped them become more organized. Some of the most recent examples include programs developed with support from Fair Trade Premiums –such as a women’s knitting program or mushroom cultivation project as additional sources of family income. Please continue reading about other recent Fair Trade premium use.
 

Quotable

With Fair Trade certification, we have learned how to better organize ourselves. There are groups of women now working in an organized manner too; they are an example to be followed in our region.  

Jorge Verdugo Mendez

Programs

Women’s Knitting Program

A group of women producers and wives of producers from the San Rafael community formed the group “Mujeres San Rafael.” The group is dedicated to knitting work as additional means for income.

A Savings and Loan Bank

When GRAPOS first began receiving the Fair Trade Premium in 2009, the general assembly assessed the organization’s needs and weaknesses and decided creating a Savings Bank was the top priority. Today, Fair Trade premiums are still used to finance this service, invaluable to producers when income levels are especially low or scarce after the harvest.

Crop Diversification – Mushrooms!

Likewise, a group of women producers and wives of producers from the Los Alpes community formed the group “Mujeres Los Alpes.” This group decided to grow mushrooms for local consumption as another source of income.