CECOCAFEN & PROCOCER, Nicaragua

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CECOCAFEN

La Central de Cooperativas Cafetaleras del Norte (CECOCAFEN) is made up of approximately 1,960 small coffee farmers organized in 12 small coops in Northern Nicaragua. All members follow guidelines for sustainability and preservation of the enviroment, with technical assistance provided by the organization. Promotion of organic agriculture, preservation of water, use of solar energy in processing, conservation of soil and shade tree cultivation all influence the growing decisions of the members of CECOCAFEN.

Premiums from fairtrade coffee sales enabled the coop to purchase a new dry processing mill. Improving the standard of living of its membership has been a high priority of CECOCAFEN. The coop has created joint savings groups for women, financial aid programs for children's education, health programs and a special Post-Mitch emergency program.

nic familyHere are some important facts about Cecocafen:

  • Year Coop was established: 1997
  • Number of Members: 1960
  • Annual Production: 80 Containers
  • The Coffee Varieties: Caturra, bourbon
  • Elevation: 800-1400m above sea level
  • Climate: Tropical highlands
  • Processing: wet mill processing in farm and patio drying
  • Cup characteristics: fine, excellent body, acidity and aroma
  • Certified Organic: 8% of the crop Organic Certifier: OCIA

PROCOCER

nic sortersLa Cooperativa de Servicios Multiples de Productores de Cafe Organico Certificado Las Segovias (PROCOCER) was founded in 1998 as a four-year initiative by the Small Farmers and Ranchers Union (UNAG) - in order to provide technical assistance in the production of organic certified coffee to previously "non-affiliated" coffee farmers.  The project integrated 1,200 producers from the municipalities of J√≠caro, Murra, Ciudad Antigua, San Fernando y Jalapa and by the end of the project, 150 of them decided to form PROCOCER.  They held their first general assembly in October 1999 and the Cooperativa de Servicios Multiples was formally established.

Today PROCOCER has approximately 600 members.  Membership is open and voluntary; and the organization is controlled democratically with members actively participating in decision-making and policy making for the coop.  Representatives are chosen from the separate farmer groups in the different geographical territories to participate in the delegates' assembly and are required to report back directly to the communities they represent.

In 2003, PROCOCER became one of the founding membes of the Association of Cooperatives of Small-Scale Producers (CAFENICA) - which helps promote member-organizations' coffee and gain support for business management projects.  They also are part of the CECOCAFEN central coordinating union of coops, which is now their main source for financing as well as the market channel for their Fair Trade and organic green coffee.

nic cupSince 2005, PROCOCER has partnered with a number of local and international allies,  which has facilitated the development of their own roasted coffee brand, "El Doradito" for the local market, and has helped them gain technical assistance, strengthen their organization, improve quality control, and improve administration capacity.  In 2005, they presented their Rural Tourism project to the Nicaraguan United Nations Program hoping to gain a managerial capacity for and general understanding of their potential for tourism in Las Segovias.  They were awarded support for the costs of basic infrastructure and to further develop the project.

They have a clear mission: to strengthen the organizational and financial capacity of the coop, increase their productive yields, and assure the quality of their coffee in order to meet the demands of the specialty coffee market.  They'd also like to diversify their productive and economic activities in order to improve the well-being of their member families while upholding environmentally sustainable practices.

Coop Coffees visited PROCOCER in January 2009 and has been importing coffee from the coop through CECOCAFEN since.