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.

Infrastructural Investments

ISMAM has invested over 565,000 pesos (about $41,358 USD) to construct additional office space and enhance existing production facilities. New meeting spaces were installed in 15 different areas, one new storage warehouse was built and existing facilities repaired.

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.