CECOCAFEN - Central de Cooperativas Cafetaleras del Norte
Because of Fair Trade, the Cooperative can now make social investments from which I can benefit. There is outside support available because we are united and this is also thanks to Fair Trade. I learned to better manage production and administration. I feel that I am achieving a more dignified and fair life. ”
Since 1997, my cooperative financed the salary of a teacher, bought an electrical outlet transformer, and installed plumbing for potable water at the cooperative. ”
I am able to study Economics at the University with help from a scholarship. My parents were able to put me through high school but could not afford to send me to a University. One year after high school a scholarship opportunity arose. Myself and twelve others benefited from scholarships funded by Fair Trade. ”
Credit Program for Women
CECOCAFEN elected to use the Fair Trade social premium to cover the operating costs of a newly established GMAS-credit program. This financial assistance program was created specifically for women, providing them with an alternative source of funding.
Soil Diagnosis Program and Training
CECOCAFEN runs a farm diagnosis program that analyzes soils and helps farmers adjust their methods to environmental conditions. The co-op provides training for its members in organic and shade cultivation, terracing, soil conservation and crop diversification. It has also helped fund the cost of organic certification.
Solar Processing Plant and Other Productive Investments
Fair Trade revenues helped CECOCAFEN finance a solar processing plant, SOLCAFE, which is now the leading mill in the area. A quality control laboratory was installed in 2002. The organization has also invested in the construction of a hydro-electric plant, a school and 25 homes for members. The cooperative has hired three technical specialists. In 2008, Fair Trade funds were used to begin a technical assistance program that provides support to producers throughout the year for productive capacity building and technical management.