Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Valle Río Apurimac (CACVRA) is a small producer organization working in coffee and cocoa production. It is located in Ayacucho Peru, in the valley of the Apurimac river. In the late 1970’s, the cooperative ballooned to 3,800 members but the political turmoil and violence throughout the next decade forced many producers to leave. Drug trafficking and armed troops plagued the region and thousands of coffee properties were abandoned by farmers seeking safer environments and industries. Luckily, this hostile environment ended and the cooperative fought to keep its mission intact – to improve the lives of small producers. Today, the cooperative works with about 2,750 members and has received praise for their coffee in many national competitions, including ranking in the first four places at the 2011 National Contest for Quality Coffee. The cooperative became Fair Trade Certified TM in 2003 and has been producing and selling Fair Trade coffee and cocoa ever since. CACVRA was the first Peruvian cooperative to sell Fair Trade organic cocoa.
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