Producer Profile: Cooperativa Cafe Timor

Written by Cafe Campesino on Aug 1, 2007 in NEWSLETTER, Producer Profile |
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Picking coffee at Cooperativa Cafe Timor

Cooperativa Café Timor was founded in the wake of the destruction of much of East Timor (also known as Timor-Leste) after it gained independence from Indonesia in 1999. In 2000, a group of farmers, in an attempt to successfully market their coffee internationally, united to form Café Timor. Today, the organization has grown to include 21,553 members 18 basic geographic groups, and 444 small-scale farmer groups.

The Fair Trade price has allowed Café Timor to establish various social and productive programs. Using primarily Fair Trade premiums, they have set up revolutionary healthcare programs, focusing primarily on prenatal care because of the high infant/maternal mortality rate, that include 10 full-service clinics and 25 mobile clinics that make regular calls to remote locations. Free primary healthcare is provided to all Café Timor members and their immediate families. They have also implemented a business skill development program that provides members with training in bookkeeping, management, English language, and computer skills. Purchases of de-pulping machines, fermentation vats, several trucks, power generators, and the construction of a waste-water treatment facility at the co-op’s wet processing facility have improved their processing greatly.

Café Timor produces 100% organic Arabica coffees, harvesting the cherries between May and September of each year and exporting from July to March. The coffee is grown at elevations around 1,200 meters (about 3900 feet).

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