CAC Pangoa, Peru (DECAF only)

Peru2

NOTE: This coffee is found in decaf offerings only

Tucked away in the central Amazon region of Peru, just east of the Andean central mountain range, CAC Pangoa (Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Pangoa) has been in opeartion since 1977.  It was founded by 50 farmers from a coop in the neighboring city of Satipo and grew to nearly 1700 members at its peak (in the early 1980s).  With 3% of every sale, Pangoa was able to build most of the infrastructure in use to this day.

CAC Pangoa currently represents 600 producer members and it is based in San Martin the Pangoa (450 km east of Lima; in central Amazon). Coffee is grown between 1,100 and 2,000 meters. There is economic diversification through cultivation of cocoa, production of honey and ecotourism projects. A roasted coffee project is fully underway with the objective of establishing a secondary source of income as well as develop a domestic appreciation for high quality (exportable) coffee to be consumed internally.

Pangoa1The coop entered the FLO registry in 2003. It also encouraged its members to switch to organics through a formalized program of training and documenting practices according to OCIA (international organic certifier) standards. In 2002, it was granted organic certification. Today, about 50% of their members are either in transition or already certified organic. 

Pangoa2During the period that's known as El Terrorismo ("the terrorism") when the Shining Path violently swept through what had up to the late '80s the peaceful, isolated, rural areas of Peru, killing thousands of innocent people and carrying out a determined campaign of instilling paralyzing fear.  CAC Pangoa lost hundreds of farmers who fled to cities to escape the terror.  Since then, they have grown their membership.

The coop is involved in the lives of its members beyond the trading of their coffee.  From promoting education to gender equality to improving members'quality of life, Pangoa provides an exemplary model of Fair Trade.  The Women's Development Committee (Comite de Desarrollo de la Mujer) works to benefit female producers, as well as wives and daughters of members.  It organizes medical check-ups for all women over 30 years old for prevention and early detection of several diseases.  

Pangoa3When the coop was first certified Fair Trade, it established two programs that continue serving members today: 1) the Educational Fund which allows members to borrow up to $2000 (US) to pay for their children's university fees and 2) the Health Services Fund offers members interest-free loans of up to $600 (US) to cover any medical attention they might need.  In 2008, Pangoa expanded its FT premium project list to include 5 more that cover tree renovation, improving their members' living standards, developing individual wet processing plants and drying stations, and covering the funerary costs of any members. 

"With the Fair Trade price we hope to increase our organic production so that we can improve and conserve the soil and subsequently increase our productivity. With increased revenue from Fair Trade sales, we plan to improve all technical aspects of our production."

Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, CAC Pangoa, General manager