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Producer Profiles

Maya Vinic - Unión de Productores Maya Vinic

Unión de Productores “Maya Vinic” is part of a greater association in Chiapas, Mexico named “Las Abejas,” Spanish for “The Bees.” On July 30th 1999, representatives of Las Abejas met to assess the future of their communities. The cooperative Maya Vinic emerges as part this analytical process in which the problems of small coffee producers were discussed, primarily low market prices, low paying intermediaries, or “coyotes,” and violence due to unstable government and paramilitary relationships. Producers, primarily of indigenous ethnicity, united to form the “Maya Vinic” cooperative and combat these pressing issues. While coffee is their main export, Maya Vinic members also produce and commercialize honey. Profits from local and international sales, including Fair Trade sales, keep the cooperative funding important social and economic development programs benefitting their community.


Investments in Infrastructure

The cooperative elected to invest Fair Trade premium funds in the construction of office space in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. They purchased land in this region for this purpose and will also build a storage warehouse for all members to use.

Organic Production Program

Fair Trade funds paid for a technical assessment of the cooperative’s farms to judge capacity for organic production. Some farms have switched to organic production while others are in transition.

Academic Scholarships

The cooperative's premium funds provide scholarships to high school students. When possible, each student receives 1,000 pesos per month.