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.
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
Fair Trade has helped us with various things, with purchasing medicine and everything we need to purchase for the crops ”
Irene Tavares Vega
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
Environmental Standards Implementation Program
COOCAFE is working to implement responsible environmental practices. It plans to hire technicians dedicated to the analysis of environmental needs who will work alongside cooperative members to implement new strategies. Technicians will pay particular attention to the Fair Trade environmental standards.
Grant for Coffee Sacks
COOCAFE subsidized the total costs of coffee sacks for its members. The cooperative gave sacks to each member in accordance with how much coffee they were selling through the cooperative.
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.