Producer Profiles

CECOCAFEN - Central de Cooperativas Cafetaleras del Norte

Located in Matagalpa, a northern city of Nicaragua, the Central de Cooperativas Cafetales del Norte (CECOCAFEN) is a second level coffee cooperative made up of 2,503 small-scale coffee farmers from 12 cooperatives. CECOCAFEN’s mission is threefold – to produce high quality coffee for demanding markets, provide excellent customer service and raise its members’ quality of life. Since its formation in 1997 and having achieved Fair Trade certification the same year, CECOCAFEN has taken great strides toward fulfilling its goals through a variety of social, environmental and productive programs, many financed by the Fair Trade premium.


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.  

Enrique Manzanares

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.  

Gleydis Blandon

Since 1997, my cooperative financed the salary of a teacher, bought an electrical outlet transformer, and installed plumbing for potable water at the cooperative.  

Eualio Munoz


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.

Better Roads for Communities

Fair Trade premium revenues funded an internal road project. Roads were built in communities where members were present.

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.