Coop Agr dos Prod Org de Nova Resende e Regiao (Coopervitae)
Members: 370 producers
Harvest season: May to October
20 containers exported per year
Growing altitudes: 1200 meters above sea level
Coopervitae was founded by a small group of producers on July 13, 2001. The group became Fair Trade certified by Fairtrade Labeling Organization International (FLO) in 2006. Since becoming Fair Trade certified, Coopervitae has grown dramatically. Cooperative members are enthusiastic about the benefits of organic agriculture, and the cooperative is working to become 100% organic.
There are 370 members in the cooperative. Twelve members, elected from different regions, meet once a month (more frequently, if necessary) to make decisions for the cooperative. There is a yearly meeting of all producers. COOPERVITAE produces 20 containers per year. Four are organic and represent coffee from roughly 25 producers. There are roughly 50 producers in transition. All production is natural-processed coffee. When they first switched to organic, Coopervitae President Geraldo Amaro da Silva said, “It was like going to a funeral because there were so many unusable beans in the harvest (due to lack of pesticides and other chemicals)”. Now they are beginning to see better yields. One of the challenges they face is trying to explain Fair Trade to the farmers.
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