SOPACDI is located in Kivu, DRC, an area that has been wracked by ethnic- and gender-based violence that has destroyed the local economy and all but virtually extinguished the coffee sector.
High in the Andean mountains east of Lake Titicaca, a few dozen families cultivate coffee and food crops on small farms ranging from 4 to 6 acres in size.
Back in 1977, a group of 71 families left their tiny, unproductive plots in the Antiplano to move to the Alto Sajama region, where they received land on which they could grow coffee, citrus, and food crops. With assistance from CARE, the farmers adopted organic growing methods, and in 1994 began exporting to the European Fair Trade market.
Elsewhere in the province of Caranavi, Bolivia, thirty-two farm families formed the cooperative ANTOFAGASTA in 1992 to market their organic coffee and thereby overcome the low prices paid by intermediaries. Today, the cooperative has doubled its size to include 65 members. Equal Exchange is proud to support these farmers' goals of increasing family incomes, improving organic farming methods, and strengthening their cooperative.