HondurasBack to Producer Profiles
The cooperative who cultivates our Copan Ruins coffee is situated in the western highlands of Honduras, very close to the Guatemalan border. Coffee is the primary source of income for families who have been farming the land for generations.
Our curiosity was heightened in 2010 when one of our treasured staff travelled to Copan Ruins to find out more about the people who produce this coffee we love.
‘Alongside ancient Mayan ruins I found a small group of farmers whose dedication and passion for coffee was inspiring. The older generation of men have dedicated their lives to growing coffee and were so proud to show off their lush farms. Now looking to the future, these men are happy in the knowledge that their children will be able to carry on this tradition thanks to the skills and education they have fostered and the stability that Fairtrade has given them.
They grow their coffee trees in amongst fruit, beans, medicinal herbs and even cultivate fish stock, living as self-sufficiently as possible. Coffee is consumed at least four times a day, black filter style, picked in the backyard, roasted in a pan in the family kitchen and served with pan dulce….yum!’
We are committed to continuing our strong relationship with the growers of COAPROCL COOP, in Copan. In 2011 we sponsored the cooperative's General Manager, Wilson, to visit us in Melbourne and take part in Fairtrade Fortnight, where he spread his story and we were able to set up a more efficient and beneficial direct-trade system.
In return, our Directors, Merilyn and Wells, visited the Coop in 2013. They made a lengthy presentation to the Coop Members, some who had travelled 6 hours to attend. This is the perfect direct relationship building situation, where producers recognise the Wholistic benefit of working within the Fairtrade system and meeting together to learn who cares to sell their coffee and offer them the security of those sales. Here, they recognise that we are not just plucking the micro lot few bags and leaving the rest, but rather, buying the container of their crop to help them with their community livelihood.
In 2013 the region was devastated by La Roya fungus disease. This caused immediate loss of 80% of their crop. In a slow rectification program costing far more than income, the Coop has achieved finance to allow progress in rebuilding their coffee trees over the next few years. Jasper Coffee has supported the Coop with repayment of banking debts and guarantee purchase of their crop, and working together to help with contacts for this finance.
Climate Change is alive, and reaping the worst for these producers. Fairtrade has added great value to their income and their community needs.
Fairtrade Premium funds have gone into:
- The establishment of a new secondary school in the region.
- Supplying the local primary school with day to day needs as well as sporting and musical equipment.
- The production of organic fertiliser means they no longer have to buy in fertiliser.
- Scholarships for young men in the cooperative to study agriculture and cooperative administration, as these skills are essential to the future success of the cooperative.
Since making the change to organic farming, and moving away from spraying dangerous chemicals, members of the cooperative have noticed significant improvements in their respiratory health. They are now strong advocates for living a healthy, organic lifestyle in the local area.