Fair-trade coffee from an exemplary cooperative
‘Comsa’ is short for ‘Café Orgánico Marcala’. From the name you can tell that organic cultivation is part of the organisation’s DNA. And so it has been ever since it was established in 2001. This cooperative from Marcala, Honduras, is a pioneer in other areas, too, and an example to others.
- Comsa encourages farmers to be less dependent on the coffee crop for sustenance, to diversify (info in Dutch) their income by growing organic vegetables, farming fish and making cheese, for example.
- On the cooperative’s ‘example farm’, the coffee farmers learn about organic production, agroecological techniques (info in Dutch) and biodynamic agriculture.
Comsa is committed to of the highest quality. It succeeds in this by ensuring that the coffee producers are well-trained in certain details of the production process that make all the difference.
The cooperative has a professional testing lab at its headquarters. Its so-called ‘cuppers’ (professional, objective tasters) are in direct contact with the coffee growers in the field. In this way they have an idea of the quality they can expect and are able to continually steer the process.
As a result, members of Comsa are frequently taking home the prize at the highly-regarded ‘Cup of Excellence Honduras’ coffee competition. The fact that more is paid for coffee of such exceptional quality serves to motivate the other farmers in the cooperative to dedicate even more care and attention to the quality of their fair-trade coffee.
It’s not just about the coffee
In addition to supporting the coffee producers, Comsa is also committed to supporting young people. Because, as Comsa says, the youth is the future of the cooperative. As such, a large part of their fair trade premium (info in Dutch) goes to youth projects.
- Comsa supports alternative educational projects. It even has its own International School.
- There the children of producers can take lessons in language and music.
- Comsa gives stipends to the children of producers to enable them to follow higher-level education.
In short: Comsa is dynamic, creative, sustainable and future-focused.
Comsa & Oxfam
- Comsa and Oxfam have enjoyed a positive and efficient collaboration since 2010.
- Comsa’s organic coffee serves as a reliable, high-quality basis for Oxfam Fair Trade’s organic blends.
- The quality of Comsa’s fair-trade coffee has not escaped other buyers in Europe. Indeed, Oxfam sells a portion of the coffee it imports onto European clients who can’t import it themselves.
- In collaboration with HIVA, we have started an HRDD project. This will better map working conditions. This way, problems can be addressed in a targeted way. Even though being fair trade provides guarantees, Oxfam Fair Trade wants to go one step further.