OCFCU (Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union) are a smallholder coffee-grower-owned co-operative based in Ethiopia. Among a host of excellent social development programmes OCFCU are dedicated to empowering women through enterprise. The co-op provides loans and financial advice to women to help them establish alternate sources of income. This approach is two-fold in that it encourages more gender equality and protects families from being over-reliant on the coffee trade. The co-op has also prioritised education for it’s co-op members. They have completed education-based construction projects that benefit over 30,000 people and offer scholarships to selected children of co-op members to enable them to continue their studies.
CENFROCAFE was founded in 1999 with 220 small-scale coffee farmers in eleven community-based associations. Nearly fifteen years after their founding, CENFROCAFE, now based out of Jaen, serves more than 2,000 farmer members in local associations spanning across twelve districts within the lush Cajamarca region. Higher incomes through fair trade sales are enabling CENFROCAFE farmers to diversify into the production of other agricultural crops – reducing migration rates and helping to preserve indigenous culture.
COOPAC was established in April of 2001 with 110 members aiming to regenerate the coffee sector in the Gisenyi region of Lake Kivu. The initial objectives was to take advantage of the excellent natural resources in our region and focus on producing the highest quality coffee for the gourmet market so as to gain higher returns for their collective efforts thereby increasing the well being of all their members. COOPAC has been instrumental in it’s community; helping in the construction of schools, health-care clinics, roads and bridges as well as development programmes for local women and youth.
CENCOIC has over 1500 family members. All of its members are small-scale coffee farmers living in the Cauca region of southern Colombia. CENCOIC’s membership is entirely indigenous and consists of Nasa (Paez), Coconuco and Yanacona peoples. CENCOIC’s primary focus has been on protecting indigenous Colombians from political violence, protecting their rights, and providing them with the means to collectively work to increase their incomes.
LAYO TERAGA is made up of over 500 member smallholder farmers scattered about the staggering altitudes found in Uraga. Ripe coffee cherries are disk-pulped and fermented for 48 hours before they’re dried on raised beds. One of the hallmarks of great Ethiopian coffees, it is to this thorough process that coffees like Layo Teraga owe their cleanliness and delicate complexity. As a co-op within the OCFCU, LAYO TERAGA benefits from many social premium initiatives which include massive investments into infrastructure, education and health services.
Located in Western Honduras, COSMA’s vision is ‘to be a competitive and profitable business, recognised for its quality coffee and transparency’. Gender equity initiatives and working in harmony with nature are just some of the ways this co-op is helping to improve the lives of its members and their families.
NEGELE GORBITU is a co-op affiliated with the OCFCU that benefits from the largers many social premium initiatives. Recently this coop have invested in their community; building a school that serves well over 300 students as well as a medical facility.
The ANEI cooperative in Colombia have welcomed the Cafe Feminino initiative with the purpose of guaranteeing women empowerment , while strengthening the relationship with producers and continuous learning by integrating and highlighting them within the organisation. To learn more visit the website http://www.anei.org.co/cafe-femenino-anei/
GUAYA’B Asociacion Civil was formed in 1999, with the aim of providing better livelihoods for its members through higher prices and other development assistance. Among the services Guaya’b offers to its members are a low interest loan service (farmers typically are left without sufficient cash in the months prior to harvest to pay for essentials, and may not be able to find casual work in this period either), and services for local women such as nutritional advice and work and business training (making honey-processing equipment and running a honey store in Jacaltenango).
BUKONZO JOINT is a co-operative union owned by its members — 83 percent women — who currently operate 5,500 small farms in the Rwenzori Mountains region of western Uganda, where they raise high-quality, organically grown, hand-picked coffee. Their efforts include marketing its farmers’ organic coffee; micro-finance, such as providing agriculture and small business loans to members; and member training and skills development. In addition to its more than 5,500 farmers, Bukonzo Joint has a full-time staff of 29, over 140 part-time volunteers, and fourteen training officers.
SOPACDI’s aims have always been to bridge ethnic groups and to produce the highest quality coffee possible. The coop has more than 5,200 farmer members, speaking a variety of languages, including Kirundi, Kihavu, Kinyarwanda, Swahili and French. Over 20% of the members are women.