APPTA, the Association of Small Producers of Talamanca, is a cocoa cooperative in the Talamanca region of southeastern Costa Rica. Talamanca is an important part of the Caribbean Biological Corridor, a conservation area that connects the mountains of La Amistad Biosphere Reserve with the Caribbean coast. This area is home to 65 percent of Costa Rica's indigenous population and nine ecological life zones. The co-op remains committed to protecting its surrounding environment through sustainable farming practices. Co-op members implement new and traditional organic production techniques and plant shade trees that not only protect the land, but also provide nutrition, medicines and building materials for their homes. APPTA became Fair Trade certified in 1997, and currently exports to both Europe and the United States. In 2000, when the international price for cocoa was very low, the Fair Trade price enabled the coop to maintain production and support its members.
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