fbpx

Origin Information

Grower
Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de Café del Estado de Oaxaca (CEPCO)
Variety
Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Mundo Novo and Typica
Region
Oaxaca, Mexico
Harvest
October – March
Altitude
900 – 1700 meters
Soil
Clay minerals
Process
Fully washed and dried in the sun
Certifications
Fair Trade, Organic

Background Details

Imagine starting at sea level in the popular Mexican beach destination of Puerto Escondido and traveling along progressively steeper and curvier roads through villages, where the local population still wears traditional indigenous clothing, eventually arriving at a lush tropical forest intercropped with coffee, bananas, corn, beans, fruit trees, and views of the Pacific Ocean in the distance below. This is the Oaxacan coffee growing region where the Sierra Madre del Sur coastal mountain range is peppered with small family farms, each consisting of just a few acres of land. Nearly forty percent of the producers are women who rely on coffee income to support their families. Producers here continue to identify with their indigenous roots using organic practices to manage their farms and protect their environment. They harvest cherries, then depulp, ferment, wash, and dry the coffee using their own micro-mills. While these producers are their own architects, designing farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit their needs, they need strong alliances to bring their coffee to the international market and earn fair prices. In Oaxaca, more than 4,000 producers from 134 communities and 45 producer associations have consolidated their efforts into an umbrella cooperative called Coordinadora Estatal de Productores de Café del Estado de Oaxaca (CEPCO), which carries out activities that are often overlooked but crucial to small producers. For example, CEPCO has helped producers gain access to credit and certifications. CEPCO has also led the leaf rust recovery effort, helping thousands of producers renovate their farms and increase their production of organic fertilizers. Investments for basic infrastructure needs, like road improvements, establishing local warehouses, and dry-mill facilities are also coordinated through CEPCO. Their collective efforts have established higher prices and more producer income to support best agricultural practices and an improved livelihood.