Producer Profile: FECAFEB, Bolivia

Written by Cafe Campesino on Oct 8, 2010 in NEWSLETTER, Producer Profile |
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PRODUCER PROFILE – FECAFEB (BOLIVIA)

The Federation of Exporting Coffee Producers (FECAFEB) was founded in 1991 as a national non-profit organization to defend the rights and needs of small-scale coffee farmers. FECAFEB has taken huge steps forward and seems to be right in stride with the new Bolivian political reality in support of Indigenous voice and rights.

FECAFEB is currently comprised of 30 coffee producer organizations, representing some 8,700 families. FECAFEB and its member coops have developed in important ways, including: the consolidation of its now 30 cooperative members; a widespread training program for administrative, leadership and quality control improvements offered to 470 cooperative leaders old and new; creating a political space for the voice of small-scale coffee producers to be heard and amplified; and in the sale of 120 containers of coffee primarily into the Fair Trade, Organic and other specialty markets. Holland, Germany, France, Belgium, New Zealand, and the USA are among the several countries to which FECAFEB currently exports.

Cooperative Coffees participated in an extensive tour of FECAFEB cooperatives in May 2006. Out of that impressive visit came Cooperative Coffees first contracts of Bolivian Fair Trade and organic coffee.

One of the producer groups we visited is the Associacion Integral de Productores Ecologicos de Pumiri (AIPEP), with whom we have booked our first lot of coffee. AIPEP currently has 32 founding members and 22 recently enlisted. The founding members have worked hard to construct impressive internal systems for excellent organic production and quality control, as well as solid mechanisms for assuring participation and administrative oversite by the members. AIPEP leaders say some 120 other farmers in the surrounding areas are watching their progress at securing markets, and have the potential to multiply their export capacity four-fold. AIPEP has been certified by IMO Control since 2002, but to date has not been able to export directly, nor be adequately compensated for their organic investment.

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