CECOVASA, or the Central de Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras de los Valles de Sandia was founded in 1970 when a group of coffee farmers in the northern Lake Titicaca region of Peru came together to sell their coffee. Members of the organization are primarily of indigenous, Quechua and Aymara, descent. Up until their unification, farmers sold their coffee beans to intermediaries who typically paid less than half of the market price. Today, the cooperative provides a stronger alternative for producers and is one of the largest small producer organizations in the country. CECOVASA and its nine base cooperatives became Fair Trade Certified in 1993, and began to export their coffee directly to U.S. and European markets. CECOVASA members and staff work hard to ensure high quality coffee. In 2013, CECOVASA was declared winner of the National Peruvian Coffee Quality Competition for the sixth time, out of a total of nine annual competitions. Not only is the organization at the forefront of coffee quality, they’re also spreading their knowledge with an on-site International Coffee Quality School, made possible with Fair Trade premiums. Close to 50 percent of CECOVASA’s members produce organic coffee, thanks to an organic conversion program that began in 1997. Find out more about their programs below and reasons for Fair Trade Certification below.
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