Peruvian Fair Trade Organic Coffee has a very pleasant flavor and is
mildly acidic with hints of lemon and peach, which flowed into a nice
creamy milk chocolate flavor with a nutty finish. We gave this coffee a
7 in Acidy, a 7 in Body, and a 7.5 in overall character.
For more about the growers of this coffee, read on. CEPICAFE is an association of small-scale coffee producers in northern Peru. The 90 grassroots organizations with more than 6,600 producers, located on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains in Piura. This area is blessed with a unique climate and ideal soils for growing coffee
CEPICAFE (Central Piurana de Cafetaleros) was founded on March 26, 1995, with 18 primary-level co-op organizations and 200 members. The region where CEPICAFE members grow coffee is in the highlands of northwest Peru. All of CEPICAFE’s coffee is grown by family units. The average area farmed by members is 1.5 hectares (about four acres). The structure of small property allows them to dedicate all their efforts on the cultivation of coffee without damaging the aside forest and fruit species which serve as shade trees to the coffee and supply an important part of the families’ diets. Geographically, the area is located on the western flanks of the Andes Mountains, at altitudes ranging from 900 to 1,400 meters above sea level, and lying very close to Ecuadorian border.Politically, the region is part of the Department of Piura. CEPICAFE’s headquarters are in the department’s capital, which goes by the same name. Member grassroots organizations come from three highland provinces in Piura Department: Ayabaca, Morropón and Huancabamba.
The Origins and Challenges
During the late 60’s the agrarian reform legislation changed private agriculture farms into production cooperatives that are owned and under the management of former employees. Many of these measures were accompanied by many contingency measures such as credit, technology and yield production techniques aiming to strengthen them, but conversely many of these measures mostly failed. During the beginnings of 90s, the Peruvian government implemented many measures in order to boost the country's agricultural industry including the coffee industry. One example is the abolition of the agency for coffee export managed by the government and the implementation a international agreement to increase and stabilize coffee prices, which caused prices to fall and global deletion of the channel through which these organizations have exported their production. These new measures gave new direction to many cooperatives in the region, but many of them were dissolved due to mismanagement and corruption. Many of the lands were subdivided and delivered to the members.
In this context, in 1991, a group of local university students along with a German volunteer realized that the small farmers faced low prices, a lack of credit, lower production in the country and strong scepticism and resistance to community organization. In order to help deal with these issues, they decided to take some action and created an organization call PIDECAE (Programa integral Del café) aiming to provide technical and commercial assistance. Initially PIDECAFE worked wither a handful of pioneering community leaders who were interested in learn and experimenting with new agricultural practices. As the program evolved the interest were rise in the local communities changing the attitude of the local farmers, during these difficult times of stigmatizes towards cooperatives and small farmers whose was perceived as a lack of capacity payment by the financial sector and local vendors, founders decided to form a formal producer organization with a better organization structure) with the mission of to revitalize the coffee industry in the area and consequently improve the live hood of the small farmers, and as a result of these initiative, APPCAFES (Asociaciones de Pequeños Productores de Café). Was created that latter will became in CEPICAFE (Central Piurana de Cafetaleros) in 1995, with 18 co-op organizations and with only 200 members aiming to build a better future their families and comunity.
Local and Foreign Help
Initially CEPICAFE, began selling unthread raw coffee production to the local markets local retailers, where until that. Thanks to the German volunteer initiative with the help of German solidarity organizations venture in 1994 to export the first coffee shipment to German, the first shipment were not successful due to the coffee was not treat with the process that European Union need it in order get the quality required. Is was when the CEPICAFE members became aware of that need, with the help of their German counterparts and with the integration of more cooperatives after some years with out exportation CEPICAFE start to get a great strides in the quality and coffee production as a result of the implementation of dry process, quality control training, and better storage facilities, ecological technical farming system and marketing quality coffee,etc.
Is that in 2003 CEPICAFE is became part of Fair Trade allowed them despite of the numerous obstacles created valued innovations in quality and coffee productions which attract the attention to many international buyers and having the opportunity to sell their coffee to different international coffee buyers to a better prices to 10 different buyers in 6 European Countries and one in USA, five of them were 100% fair trade buyers.
In 2003 CEPICAFE sell approximately 15,430 quintals valued in 1.6 millions of dollars to benefits of the members and invest in improvements of the coffee business and implementing social development projects in their communities.
Fair Trade Impact
photo by : Oxfam Wereldwinkels
Cepicafe Members thanks to their efforts and also with the Fair Trade Premium the members currently have : better prices , low rate credits , better quality , capacity buildings workshops in regards to crop renovation, establish organic certification, incremented price stability, and financial risk reduction and better nutrition, and other benefits such as have access to financing and 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.