I just got back from El Salvador, where I represented Acopio at Sustainable Harvest’s Let’s Talk Coffee event. From start to finish the event was a powerful reminder of the need for continued collaboration across the coffee supply chain. Two key themes - low coffee prices and the roya crisis - highlighted the need for innovation and multi-stakeholder solutions that reinforce the resiliency of small holder producers. The event took a rather sober tone at times in light of the seriousness of those two themes, but as always it was a pleasure to speak with so many inspiring coffee industry actors from across the value chain.
A few highlights:
Ben Corey-Moran of Fair Trade USA discussing their pricing policy.
The Stanford d.school coffee team presenting on innovation in coffee fermentation and drying.
Paul of Acopio with Ervin Calixto Miranda of COOMPROCOM.
Thanks to Sustainable Harvest for the invitation - we’re looking forward to continuing the many conversations we started at the event.
Today we’re proud to launch The Coffee Pages, a directory representing some of the finest coffee producers in the world. All coffee producers are welcome to join the platform and can use it to build a presence on the Internet while connecting with other producers, buyers, certifiers, lenders, and the public.
In our years of working at origin with farmers, producer groups have often told us that there are few cost-effective ways to create an online presence. While helping launch a website for COOMPROCOM, a cooperative we work with in Nicaragua, we began thinking that there must be a better way to help producers share their story with the world. Producers are often underrepresented on the Internet and all too often the names and faces of producers are also absent from the aisles of the shops where we buy their products.
At Acopio we would like to change that and today we’re starting with a simple platform that helps producer groups establish their own corner of the Internet. Producer groups (or friends of producer groups) can submit their basic information for inclusion on the site. We’ll reach out to the producer to verify the information and then publish the page on the site. We’ll add the producer to the map on the homepage and we’ll publish the producers’ contact information in the event that visitors to The Coffee Pages want to reach out to the producer directly. There is no charge for this service.
In the future, we’d like to include even more features: multimedia, full producer control over producer profiles, the ability to submit a “sighting” of a producers’ coffee in the market, realtime updates and interaction with producers, cupping scores and notes from producers, and methods for helping buyers and lenders connect with producers that match their criteria. If you have a suggestion for a feature, we’d love to hear from you.
A number of producer groups on the site today feature the “Acopio User” badge on their profile pages. This badge indicates that the producer group is working with Acopio to increase their operational efficiency, work in a transparent manner with their members and partners, and deliver a highly traceable product. As we grow The Coffee Pages, we’ll work with AcopioPlus users to incorporate data from the field.
If you would like to get involved in making The Coffee Pages even better, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us!
Ariel working with Ismael of Frutos de Selva at their collection facility.
We’re proud to announce the launch of AcopioPlus at three new producer groups. Located in the San Martin region, these are the first groups to use our tools in Peru. The bottom of this post includes short descriptions of ADISA, CAPEMA, and Frutos de Selva (thanks to Conservation International for the descriptions).
Thanks to a partnership between Sustainable Harvest and USAID, we spent two weeks in Peru in May working with the cooperatives to roll out AcopioPlus, our tool for managing operations at producer groups. While each group is slightly different, on the whole we found that the groups conduct their operations in a similar manner. With this group of cooperatives we’re focusing primarily on the “acopio” process, inventory management, and quality control.
Ariel training Ismael of Frutos de Selva at their collection facility.
Ariel discussing coffee production with a producer at ADISA's collection facility.
ADISA is a 120 producers association created in 2005 and working under FLO Cert and Organic standards. VV loans were approved in 2010 for pre and post harvest expenses incurred by the cooperative. The financing provided, greatly helps to stimulate the growth of the organization as its size puts it in an interesting position with great potential for success but a need for external stimulation. Most of the associates are in the buffer zones or inside of the Alto Mayo Protected Area, and ADISA has developed some conservation projects of its own. Three of the associates are developing nurseries to sell native species of trees to plant in the farms, thus further contributing to restoration.
CAPEMA was founded in 2006 by 90 producers, but has since grown to incorporate over 150 members and is still attempting to take in more. Members come together from 6 different local communities around the Alto Mayo Protected Area in order to consolidate their products to achieve better market conditions. Prior to 2009 CAPEMA only operated in local markets, however it was able to access external financing in that year to export coffee internationally to specialty markets.
Frutos de Selva
Frutos de Selva is a cooperative organization that comprises of 352 coffee producers and 47 sugar producers from 11 communities near the Alto Mayo Protected Area of northern Peru. The cooperative cultivates approximately 1200 hectares and its green coffee is provided for international specialty markets. The organization has acquired FLO, Organic and Utz certifications. Buyers include Sustainable Harvest, Coffee Link & List Deisler, and Prodelsure.
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