Small-scale coffee farmers from the north of Peru
The eastern side of the Andes mountains lends itself excellently to coffee cultivation. Indeed, this region in the north of Peru produces 70% of all the nation’s coffee. A good third of that comes from cooperatives of small-scale coffee farmers. The cooperative Sol & Café from the provincial capital Jaén is a great example of this.
Sol & Café has its headquarters, storage depot and quality control lab in Jaén, the capital of the province of the same name. But it unites around 60 small farmers’ associations from the region, around 1,000 farming families in total.
Quality as priority
Ever since its founding in 2005, the Sol & Café cooperative has kept quality high on its agenda. Over the years it has developed strong systems for monitoring quality and making their organic coffee beans traceable from farmer to customer. Many other cooperatives look up to Sol & Café in this regard.
All their efforts have ultimately proven worthwhile. Members of Sol & Café frequently take home trophies from the major coffee competition ‘Cup of Excellence Peru’. Being celebrated at such a competition also means that buyers will be willing to pay more for your coffee.
Sol & Café doesn’t have its own processing facility. Instead it readies its coffee for export in the factory of the Peruvian cooperative and Oxfam partner Norandino. Their factory is located to the west of the Andes in the export harbour of Paita.
Supported by fair trade
Sol & Café supports its members every day in producing better organic coffee in higher qualities. It invests systematically in this using part of the fair trade premium (info in Dutch) it receives. It provides the following assistance, for example:
- Support for the coffee farmers: technical assistance, training in eco-friendly cultivation, soil analysis of their fields.
- New coffee plants for producers whose revenues are diminishing the older their plants get.
- A test plot on which to experiment with production methods, so members can learn a lot about driving up production sustainably. Also experiments with production methods and other activities such as Tilapia aquaculture and cocoa production.
- A primary school for members who teach children around the cooperative model and related skills.
- A dentist who offers free dentistry to members.
This cooperative also uses their fair trade premium for projects that help not only the whole organisation but also the wider community. Such as:
- training in working cooperatively (info in Dutch), business development and marketing
- a programme that promotes the health and well-being of the farming families
Sol & Café en Oxfam
- Sol & Café has supplied Oxfam with quality organic coffee since 2011. This serves as a constant and reliable ingredient in all of our organic blends.
- Sol y Café records CO2 uptake by coffee plantations with financial support from Oxfam België/Belgique.