ASOBAGRI - Asociación Barillense de Agricultores
Since then, however, ASOBAGRI has grown and now counts on more than 1107 members, all growing organic coffee, and over 200 more in transition to organic cultivation. The cooperative is incredibly diverse representing 67 different Mayan communities. Of the 1107 active members growing organic coffee, about 95 are women who produce and process their own. Cooperative members grow high-quality, shade-grown coffee using organic compost. Since Fair Trade Certification in 1999, ASOBAGRI has enjoyed significantly higher revenues. They are now certified Organic, Café Feminino and Bird Friendly.
“ A tree fell over my house and destroyed it completely. ASOBAGRI supported me with funds and I was able to reconstruct my house. This type of support encourages us to work in coffee and with ASOBAGRI. ”
Tomas Mateo, ASOBAGRI member
Since 2010, I have received economic support for my daughter’s education. The Fair Trade Premium allowed me to pay for her education. She is currently getting her degree in Nursing. ”
Juan Mateo Diego, ASOBAGRI member
Support for Natural Disasters
ASOBAGRI also created an emergency fund to support members in case of natural disasters. Bad weather conditions usually cause home rooftops damages and landslides on roads.
Independent Income for Women
ASOBAGRI supported a program led by women called “Café con Manos de Mujer” (In Spanish. It means: “Coffee from women’s hands”), which helps women landowners generate independent income to supplement their husbands income and make it easier for both to look after their dependents, particularly their children.
Education and Development
ASOBAGRI’s members decided to invest social premium in scholarships for their children. In 2013, a total of 82 women and 175 men were able to get these grants.