Producer Profiles

CACVRA - Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Valle Rio Apurimac

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.
 

Quotable

I am very happy with Fair Trade premiums because the money I receive for my coffee covers the cost of production. Thanks to the premium supplied by the cooperative, this year I've been able to build a family milling facility that will improve the quality of my beans. Family-run mills like these are very important here because of the region’s water shortage; wet milling is fundamental in the processing of coffee here.  

Marcial Valladolid Sosa

I used to be disappointed with coffee cultivation because the price I was receiving was not even covering the cost of my production. But now, through the cooperative, I am at least seeing a little profit. I'm hoping to improve the quality of my coffee beans and increase my production with the two acres of old coffee plants I rehabilitated in 2006. I hope the additional income provided by Fair Trade prices will let me support my youngest children while they finish their education.  

Crisóstomo Loayza Aramburu

Programs

Education Committee, Social and Environmental Programs

CACVRA members dedicated 20 percent of their Fair Trade premiums for the efforts of their Education Committee and an additional 10 percent to social programming. But the largest portion of Fair Trade premiums, an estimated 55 percent, was invested on environmental programs that supported and improved organic cultivation and certification.

Credit Program, New Equipment and Facilities

CACVRA members used Fair Trade Premiums to form a small credit system. Donations of organic fertilizer and farming tools helped the startup of this project. Funds were used to strategically locate new drying mills (both community and family-run) in areas with the highest production. A storage facility was constructed by one of the wet mill plants, and new vehicles, also purchased with portions of the Fair Trade premium, improved transporting speeds and overall efficiency.

Women Leadership Programs

Female members participated in a variety of workshops, trainings and experience exchanges with other organizations to try to improve the recognition and participation of rural women in the cooperative.