COOCAFE - Cooperativa dos Cafeicultores da Região de Lajinha
COOCAFE is one of several Brazilian producer groups participating in the Responsible Sourcing Partnership (RSP) project. The RSP project is a result of a partnership between USAID, Fair Trade USA, Walmart Stores, Inc. and SEBRAE-MG, designed to improve the quality of Brazilian coffee, increase market linkages and raise producer capacity. Through participation in the RSP project, COOCAFE has improved its infrastructure which has resulted in higher quality coffee, and has benefited from targeted training programs and increased contact with the U.S. coffee market.
At the first Fair Trade meeting held years ago, the Fair Trade representative and I were the only women present - other women thought this was men's work. Today, meetings are full of women. ”
Conceção pez de Costa, member
In response to the Question, "What would you say to a US consumer of your coffee?"
Irene Tavares Vega
Participating in the last SCAA conference in Minesota was a very important experience for us. We had the opportunity as a group of Brazilians to visit Sam's Club-Wal -Mart, where our coffee is being displayed and sold! It was such a rewarding experience to receive the feedback of a consumer who told us that they liked our coffee! This was a great moment for us. ”
Fernando R. Cerqueira, Coocafe president
Technical assistance for development
Coocafé invests an average of $350,000 in courses, lectures and technical assistance to enhance the technological development of member’s farms and improve product quality.
Rural schools built for further education
Coocafé built rural schools throughout the region, providing basic education to an average of 1,000 children each year.
Garden project for environmental awareness
A garden project was developed in schools throughout the community to raise awareness about cooperativism, the environment and conscious consumption.