Located in the mountainous region of the Cajamarca province in Peru, the Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples de San Ignacio, Cajamarca (APROCASSI) was founded in 2000 by small producers committed to earning a fair price for their coffee. This region of Peru is also marked by national and international mining companies who often do not pay laborers a fair wage. APROCASSI formed to give people an alternative to the mining industry. APROCASSI continually seeks to produce high-quality coffee and improve its members’ standard of living through higher prices. They regularly invest in programs that teach members how to improve coffee quality and productivity. Most families work on approximately seven hectares of land and grow a variety of products, including coffee in the higher elevations. Collectively, the cooperative has an estimated 2,705 hectares of land producing organic coffee, which is roughly 93% organic. Since becoming Fair Trade Certified ™ in 2001, the cooperative has financed several social and productivity programs using its Fair Trade premium. Portions of their premium are also used to pay producers immediately for their coffee sales. APROCASSI was also awarded Fair Trade USA’s first ever Cooperative Small Grant to enact a rust mitigation program through environmental management in which they went through a rigorous grant selection process where they identified the challenges they were facing and proposed concrete solutions to overcome these challenges.
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