Cafe Campesino Trading Partners
Cafe Campesino is a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, a fair trade, organic green coffee importing cooperative comprised of 23 community based coffee roasters in the USA and Canada. Cafe Campesino and the other members of Cooperative Coffees share a 100% commitment to building and supporting equitable and sustainable trade relationships for the benefit of farmers and their exporting cooperatives, families and communities. We currently work with 18 small farmer organizations in 9 distinct, coffee producing countries. Our trading partners are farmer cooperatives, local organizations founded and democratically governed by the farmers themselves. Fair Trade helps build pride, independence and empowerment for small farmers, their families and their communities.
Our trading partner in Bolivia is FECAFEB. Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production.
Our trading partners in Colombia are Fondo Paez and Ocamonte. In textbook fashion, the gulf of wealth between the rich minority and the poor majority together with the lack of peaceful alternatives in Colombia, led to a leftist insurgency in the 1960's. The other end of the political spectrum defended its position by organizing paramilitary groups to target social activists, human rights workers and peasants suspected of helping the guerrillas. Since then, the brutal conflict between the state's army and paramilitary.
Our trading partner in the Dominican Republic is FEDECARES. The Dominican Republic is a country located on the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule lasted for much of the 20th century; the move towards representative democracy has improved vastly since the death of military dictator Rafael Leonnidas Trujillo in 1961.
Our trading partner in El Salvador is Las Marias93. Las Marias93 is one of the constructive results of the negotiated 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords - ending decades of brutal civil war in El Salvador. As part of the agreed upon agrarian reform, this group of former combatants was able to purchase a piece of land with 7 members founding the coop in 1993. Today, the coops includes 63 members (20 women and 43 men) with an average of 1.75 hectares each. Among the members, 39 are included in the Organic Program, and they represent a total area of about 76 hectares. The remaining members do not use chemicals in their production, but have not yet been organic certified. Their objective is to include all members in the Organic Program.
In Ethiopia, we work with the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) and the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and yet one of the poorest countries in the world. Coffee farmers live a very traditional lifestyle. Farming less than 5 acres and living in stick houses - electricity, running water and indoor plumbing are rare in rural areas. Late in 2003, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank deemed Ethiopia eligible for an additional US$700 million of "Topping Up" debt relief. To be eligible for this relief, Ethiopia has met with the tough economic restructuring conditions imposed through the IMF and the World Bank over a five-year qualifying process.
Guatemala's modern experiment with democracy and land reform ended fifty some years ago (June 1954) when the U.S. Eisenhower administration authorized the CIA coup that condemned Guatemala to decades of repressive military dictatorships. The signing of Peace Accords in 1996 formally ended 32 years of civil war and have allowed Guatemalans to experience increasing access to information and participate in an internal discussion about important national issues. Nevertheless, a half-century of bad habits die hard.
We work with the 100 member cooperative, COPROCAEL that stands for Cooperativa de Productores de Cafe la Enarnacion Limitada, which is based in the municipality of La Encarnacion in the Ocotepeque department in Honduras, near the boarder of El Salvador.
There is a popular saying in Mexico, "So far from God and so close to the United States." Thanks to U.S. advice and friendly pressure, Mexico's "economic restructuring" has resulted in a classic economical portrait of our times. At the same time that it has benefited the financial elite, it has squeezed a once thriving middle class and has had a devastating impact on Mexico's poor. Chiapas is one of the most marginalized states in all of Mexico, infamous for being one of the states richest in natural resources, yet with one of the poorest populations in all of Mexico.
We work with the farmer cooperative CECOCAFEN.
Nicaragua, though Costa Rica's neighbor, shows a dramatically different picture. It is the second poorest country in the Americas (Haiti is the poorest.) The income distribution is so unbalanced that 45% of all wealth is owned by 10% of the population. Meanwhile, millions live in poverty, with neither potable water nor electricity supplied to their homes. Some 831,000 live in a situation of extreme poverty. Such inequity is not built up overnight, nor have the proud Nicaraguan people simply accepted this reality passively.
PeruWe work with two farmer cooperatives: CEPICAFE and CAC Pangoa. Peru, once part of the great Incan empire, has been a land of ongoing struggle and revolution dating back to the Spanish Conquest. Finally in 1945, Peru emerged from decades of dictatorship with the inauguration of President Jose Luis Bustamente y Rivero. But Bustamonte y Rivero served for only three years before beginning a rapid succession of political turnover. Still, Peru's fragile democracy survived. In 1985, Belande Terry was the first elected president to turn over power to a constitutionally elected successor since 1945. Then came Alberto Fujimori.
Indonesia is as diverse as it is enormous. Hundreds of languages are spoken on the 17,000 islands that make up the world's largest archipelago and Muslim country. This resource rich (including oil) nation gained its independence from the Netherlands following WWII and named Sukarno as it's first independent President. President Sukarno, a nationalist embattled leader, was eventually replaced by the much more pro-Western General Suharto. Suharto's coming to power in 1965 was accompanied by the massacre of between 250,000 (CIA estimates) to 1 million (Amnesty International estimates) citizens.