Producer Profiles

ISMAM - Indígenas de la Sierra Madre de Motozintla

In 1985, Mayan farmers from more than 100 rural communities in the diocese of Sierra Madre de Chiapas, came together to form the cooperative Indígenas de la Sierra Madre de Motozintla (ISMAM). Theirs was an incredible effort to fight against the grinding poverty and exploitation threatening their families. They worked together to address common needs for technical assistance, processing equipment and direct market access. Today, an estimated 8,000 family members benefit from the organization’s accomplishments and commitment to Fair Trade. Farmers are receiving higher incomes for their cocoa and coffee, and families are staying together, helping preserve their unique indigenous culture, traditions and environment. ISMAM has been Fair Trade Certified™ since 1989.


Fair Trade enables us to feed our children better and give them an education.  

Máximo Pérez Mejía, ISMAM Member


Scholarships for College Students

The cooperative provides scholarship opportunities for food and housing for farmers’ children pursuing a college degree.

Coffee Nursery

Fair Trade premiums were used to fund a new coffee nursery to help farmers access more coffee plants.

Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Training

Seventy-six trained cooperative members carried out day-to-day training of members in organic practices, which led to 100 percent organic certification for ISMAM combined 24,000 acres of land. Agronomists have assisted members in planting fruit trees as shade for their coffee plants. The citrus fruits are often sold in local markets for supplemental family income.

Microcredit Program

ISMAM has implemented a savings and microcredit program with over 180,000 pesos (about $13,200 USD) in 20 different areas in which they operate.