Founded in 1952, the Multi-service Cacao Co-operative of Bocatoreña (COCABO) was the first agricultural co-operative established in Panama. COCABO is an organization of 1,500 small-scale cacao farmers.
CEPCO was founded in 1989 in the midst of a severe crisis in Mexico's coffee industry. Originally formed through the efforts of more than 7,400 small coffee producers, today CEPCO is the largest association of small coffee producers in Oaxaca.
Formed in 1994, Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas (CESMACH) is a coffee co-operative in the southern highlands of Chiapas, Mexico.
The members of the Small Farmer’s Tea Project (SFTP) in Kerala, India are predominantly marginalized small producers and members of tribal groups who have suffered from social and economic injustice for generations. The goal of the SFTP is to bring its members economic growth and control. The mountainous region of Kerala is environmentally sensitive and is experiencing massive erosion, deforestation, and acute water shortages. The SFTP is working to promote changes in growing practices to alleviate the environmental damage and rebuild the area.
The Mineral Springs Cooperative, also referred to as Sanjukta Vikas Cooperative, was one of the first small farming initiatives in the plantation controlled region of Darjeeling. The land that cooperative members live on was a tea plantation in the early part of the century but abandoned in the 1950s. The community has since depended mostly upon subsistence farming of corn, millet, potatoes and vegetables.
The Association of Small Coffee Producers, "Farmers' Hands" is an organization of small-scale coffee producers in the highlands of southwestern Guatemala.
Name: Las Colinas Co-operative
Location: Tacuba, Ahuachapán, El Salvador
Number of Producers: 89 members
Certifications: Organic, Fair for Life, SPP
Fortaleza del Valle was founded in 2005 to improve living conditions for small-scale cacao producers in the Manabí Province of Ecuador. The co-operative is made up of five regional groups, with over 630 farmers as members. The average size of each farm is 2.5 - 12.5 acres, and the farms are diversified to include fruit and timber trees. Fortaleza del Valle works to improve family incomes by improving the production yield and quality of its members' cacao. The co-op has developed post-harvest infrastructure, such as central fermentation centers, to ensure the best in quality.
The story of El Guabo, one of Equal Exchange’s farmer partners, is a success story in grassroots organizing. In 1998, 14 small-scale banana farmers in southwest Ecuador decided to take the tremendous risk of sending one container (about 38,400 lbs) of bananas to Europe with the hope of selling it directly to a supermarket. By cutting out the middleman, they took the power back into their own hands. With the sale of this first container, the El Guabo Association of Small Banana Producers was born.
The National Confederation of Dominican Cacao Producers (CONACADO) is an organization of small-scale cacao producers in the Dominican Republic. CONACADO began as a development project in 1985 during a low in the global cocoa market, to study how cacao fermentation techniques could improve the quality of cacao production in the Dominican Republic.