“Like Equal Exchange, we want to improve the lives of our small farmer members,” said Hildebrando Cárdenas Salazar, general manager of Oro Verde. The co-op was founded in 1999 with 56 members, and now there are 1,200 members.
The Agrarian Coffee Cooperative of the Apurimac River Valley (CACVRA) was formed in 1969 to market coffee for small-scale farmers in Peru.
In the 1980s, the co-op and surrounding communities in the remote Apurimac Valley were severely impacted by the social and political conflict occurring in Peru’s Ayacucho Province. Within the last several years, CACVRA has recovered to re-establish strong export volumes of coffee, and has also become a significant producer and exporter of organic cacao to international markets.
The co-op now consists of close to 1,600 members and sells 100% of its cacao through the Fair Trade system. CACVRA has invested substantial resources into cultivating and marketing cacao of the highest quality.