Located in the Valle Alto Mayo, in the northwestern province of San Martín, the farmers of APAVAM live in a region of political and environmental turmoil. Following the construction of a local highway in 1985, the area was wrought with narcotics trafficking, guerrillas and indiscriminate destruction of virgin rainforest. Many local farmers replaced their coffee fields with coca crops. APAVAM was established as a USAID project in 1996 and was turned over to the farmer members in 2000. At this time, APAVAM was a second-level cooperative comprised of 46 cooperatives and 1,000 producers. Though the membership has since dwindled to 25 cooperatives with 235 members, its members are free of many previously experienced ills. APAVAM has been Fair Trade Certified since 2005.
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