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CEPICAFE

Founded in 1995
Serves as umbrella organization for more than 4,800 producers
Coffee growing altitude of 1,300 to 1,800 meters
festival

The Central Piurana de Cafetaleros (CEPICAFE) was founded in March 1995 with 200 members. Today CEPICAFE has grown into a second level marketing "umbrella" organization serving 80 base organizations and a total of 6,363 producers in the Piuran mountains, Amazon region  and the Cajamarca through its alliance with coop members ORO VERDE and CENFROCAFE (Central Fronteriza del Norte de Cafetaleros), whose excellent coffee is provided for Cooperative Coffees contracts.

CENFROCAFE was founded in 1999 with 220 small-scale coffee farmers in 11 community-based organizations. Today CENFROCAFE serves 1,480 farmers in 52 organizations. CENFROCAFE families own on average 3 hectares of land, of which half might be under coffee cultivation. The region spans the lush hillsides of Jaen and San Ignacio provinces with growing altitudes ranging from 1,300 to 1,800 meters. But despite the hard work that has gone into coffee in this prime productive region, farmers continue live under the most rudimentary conditions.

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Nevertheless, as CENFROCAFE founding member and current president of the producer Board of Directors, Anselmo Huaman Moreto explains: A huge difference in our lives is that now our children can actually go to school, our coffee is being recognized in the market for the quality we produce, and our members can be proud again to be farmers.

The cooperative alliance between CEPICAFE, OROVERDE and CENFROCAFE, has provided important services to thousands of small-scale farmers (members and non-members alike) in the coffee regions of Northern Peru, who without a strong organization would have otherwise been abandoned without access to even the most basic health, education and other social services.

Through the consolidation of producer organizations under the CEPICAFE umbrella, producers are now active and respected agents for sustainable development in their region. They have worked collectively to improve quality and overall production under certified organic practices, and they have increased their exports from 550 quintales in 1997 to 39,373 quintales into a range of specialty markets over the past 10 years. Farmers also enjoy access to financing and to development projects. This has facilitated the diversification of their production base to include a range of products from brown sugar, marmalades and cocoa to crafts and coffee tourism.

A green coffee processing plant, with capacity to include a coffee roasting and packaging plant as well as production and packaging facilities for their alternative products is currently under construction, and expected to be running in early 2007.

Visit the CEPICAFE website

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