FAPECAFES, Ecuador

EmapFAPECAFES (Association of Agri­Artisinal Coffee Growers of Rio Intag) Cooperative was  founded approximately 12 years ago out of a need for people in the valley Intaq to organize in defense of their land and way of life against foreign mining interests. Membership is currently estimated at 400 active associates (48 are women, with 2 women member seats on the Board of Directors).

E1FAPECAFES became part of the FLO fair-trade registry in 2002 and currently have 83% of the farms are certified organic through BCS, USDA and JAS.  Each of  the 7 associations that form the coop has a cupper and is solely responsible for coffee quality and integrity. Other sources of income to help diversify their local economy include: Eco-tourism, essential natural oils production, commercial micro-biology and Spanish language programs for non-native speakers.

All members of this association share a deep commitment to protect the biodiversity of the Valley Intaq cloudforests and surrounding areas from destructive exploratory and extractive industries. Cooperative members also strive to defend the native cultures of the region, as well as improve the social and education systems and basic infrastructure.

E2Goals of the Cooperative: To pay a living wage to all members all year round;  to serve as a model eco-community and to outreach and share skills/know how with peoples and communities in other parts of the world experiencing similar environmental threats; to improve the quality of their organic coffees, to export high graded coffees which are competitive with other highly sought after South American origins.

FAPECAFES currently exports to the North American market and Japan. E3The cooperative receives outside funding from NGOs, faith groups, and limited domestic governmental support via grants.  This  funding  is used to subsidize staff salaries, transportation infrastructure, a micro credit loan program and pre-financing.  In recent years, the cooperative has been able to build a new warehouse, a wet processing beneficio, a nursery,  and a quality control  lab.  They do count with a roasting operation for local distribution which is located in Apuela where they also have a micro-biology lab.

Main coffee varietals are Borbón, Caturra and Pacas. All coffee is harvested in the Province of Zamora-Chinchipe (Loja. Ecuador) about 2000 meters above sea level.