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
My coffee is good because I take great care of it and I don't use any pesticides… my coffee is pure. ”
Conceção pez de Costa, 1st woman Fiscal Advisor
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.
Educate women on coffee cultivation
The cooperative has established a regular meeting for the women of the community. These meetings provide women with courses on coffee cultivation, as well as alternative sources of income for their families.
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.