RAOS - Cooperativa Mixta Agricultores Orgánicos de la Sierra
A small group of farmers began training themselves and each other on growing coffee using non conventional techniques. This small group, now growing coffee organically was initially overlooked by others in the area. But they soon realized the great benefit non conventional techniques brought. Since 1997, the RAOS Cooperative has become an economic development model in the region of Marcala, Honduras. With over 200 members and growing, RAOS is considered the country’s pioneers of organic coffee. They play an important role in their communities, providing essential services through Fair Trade Premiums.
Cooperativa RAOS has invested 20 percent of their Fair Trade premium in improving their infrastructure. They purchased a wet mill and a dry mill to improve the quality and consistency of their coffee.
Cooperativa RAOS invested 20 percent of their Fair Trade premium in education programs. They collaborated with a local radio station and education organization to educate members on Fair Trade standards and give young people the opportunity to access education, especially those too far from a school. Students can take classes through the radio, much like a distance learning program.