UNIPASV - União de Pequenos Agricultores Santana da Vargem
UNIPASV producer Gilmar Donizete Oliveira is pictured in the photo on the left.
UNIPASV is one of fifteen Brazilian Fair Trade Certified™ producer groups that participated in the 2007-2010 Responsible Sourcing Partnership (RSP) project. The RSP project is a result of a partnership between USAID, TransFair USA, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and SEBRAE-MG designed to improve the quality of Brazilian coffee, increase market linkages and raise producer capacity. Through the partnership, UNIPASV participated in numerous trainings to improve coffee quality. The events and workshops included cooperative governance, business management, cupping and post-harvest best practices trainings.
“Since we started participating in Fair Trade, my family has become more united through working together on our small piece of land. My husband and I cultivate our coffee with lots of love. I help to gather the harvest and, together with my son, we turn the coffee on the drying patio. The most important thing for me is to be able to continue living on the farm; today this has become a privilege of the few. Fair Trade without a doubt has contributed to our ability to continue living here happily with a high quality of life. ” - Mara Mendonça Oliveira, UNIPASV Member ”
Mara Mendonça Oliveira, UNIPASV Member
New Equipment and Technical Assistance to Improve Efficiency and Quality
UNIPASV recently completed construction of a new central office, equipped with phones, computers, electricity and a small kitchen so that the cooperative can operate more efficiently. Additionally, the cooperative invests in technical assistance courses so that farmers can improve the quality of their coffee and therefore charge higher prices.
Environmental Preservation Courses and Inputs
UNIPASV has developed and will deliver courses on environmental preservation. The cooperative has also invested in earth-friendly farm inputs to protect the environment.
Home Improvement and Land Purchase
The additional income that farmers earn from Fair Trade coffee sales enables cooperatives members to improve their houses, including plumbing and other sanitation infrastructure. Many UNIPASV members have used the funds from Fair Trade Certified sales to become first time landowners.