UCPCO - Unión de Cooperativas Productores de Café Orgánico
They are located in the San Juan del Río Coco region of Northern-Central Nicaragua, approximately six hours from the capital. In the fertile mountains of the Río Coco region, UCPCO farmers are growing high-quality coffee and earning Fair Trade and Organic price premiums for their efforts.
“Fair Trade isn’t only fair in the prices for coffee but also in the quality of life of cooperative members; everyday my family’s life is greatly improving. Now I have security, comfort and privacy. This is the quality of life that we deserve as family coffee farmers that we can now have by selling out product for a fair price.” ”
Ramón Isidro Medina Acuña
The price we receive from Fair Trade coffee has changed my life but more importantly my children’s opportunities. Now, the organic training and capacity-building investments afforded by the increased price has prepared this family of farmers for the future. ”
Teresa Muñoz, UCPCO Member
UCPCO donated medicine to community health centers in the municipality of San Juan del Rio Coco. In addition, the cooperative coordinates with the Department of Health to allocate aid money, state money and money from their own medical fund to health care initiatives in the region.
UCPCO used premium money to award scholarships to members' children. Students got scholarships for elementary school, high school, technical school, and college. In a community where many small farmers don't have enough money to send their children to school, this is a huge contribution to their families.
Women's Microfinance Program
UCPCO has created women’s groups to encourage savings and investment in micro-enterprise.