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Founded: 1992, legalized under Guatemalan law in 1998.
Membership: 400 farmers in 17 communities.
Region: Southwestern Highlands San Marcos, Guatemala on the slopes of volcano Tajumulco.
Coffee: Arabica, SHB Certified Organic by Mayacert-Oko Garantie.
Characteristics: A sweet, clean coffee offers good acidity and body in the cup.
APECAFORM (Asociación de Pequeños Caficultores Orgánicos Maya-Mames) is comprised of 400 members living in 17 communities. The General Assembly is the highest decision-making authority. A Central Board of Directors guides and executes the main activities of Apecaform and coordinates tasks with five Local Boards of Directors, based in community centers. In addition, 21 local promoters coordinate and conduct technical trainings to improve organic agricultural practices, and to facilitate commercialization and a variety of social projects. The coordinating community center was established in Pueblo Nuevo, because of its central location; it is only a two-hour drive to the city of San Marcos and on average a two and a half-hour walk from the remaining 18 APECAFORM communities!
APECAFORM is in its fifth harvest of organic certified production. There are now 266 members underJeronimo financial training workshop certification and 80 percent of their total production goes to the cooperative for sale to the Fair Trade market. Exporting through Manos Campesinas to Fair Trade markets has meant the difference between selling coffee at Q.250.00 (US$32.50) per QQ parchment to coyotes and Q.714.05 (US$92.75) per QQ now as APECAFORM members. Cooperative Coffees has purchased coffee from Apecaform through its umbrella marketing organization, Manos Campesinas since our first year of operations. Through a strategic credit partnership between EcoLogic - Apecaform – Cooperative Coffees, producers have been able to increase direct Fair Trade sales by 50% annually for the last 3 years.
Achievements from the fair trade premiums include purchasing land and constructing a warehouse in Malacatan and creating a community fund to support their network of organic promoters and coordinators.
Goals for the future include constructing a wet processing plant in each of the five community centers and to administer a timely credit fund capable of offering producers adequate pre-financing.
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