ACOPAGRO - Cooperativa Agraria Cacaotera Acopagro Ltda
Today, ACOPAGRO has over 1,800 members spanning four different provinces in the San Martín state. It works to promote cocoa cultivation, ensure market stability and raise income levels and product quality for farmers. Although family revenues depend largely on the sale of cocoa, members also raise animals for consumption and additional sales. Amongst the community's greatest challenges is access to sanitary services (particularly clean drinking water), educational opportunities for children and adequate health care. The cooperative sought Fair Trade certification for these reasons, using Fair Trade premiums to directly overcome these needs.
ACOPAGRO has been improving its technical capacity, productivity and social inclusion through research and consistent training. The cooperative is considered one of the best models of the Alternative Development program in Peru. It has been awarded high honors in specialty markets for its quality cocoa. In 2000, ACOPAGRO gained organic certification on 60 percent of its products. They became Fair Trade Certified™ in 2004.
Paying Loan for Facility Construction
Premium funds have helped pay off a loan from the Intercontinental Bank that was used to construct an operations site.
Improvements to Collection Centers and Quality
Premium funds were used to purchase cement and corrugated iron sheets for collection centers. Funds were also used to teach workers at these collection centers the best practices to improve the quality of their final product, such as the use of blankets and solar dryers.
Investment in Production Equipment
Acopagro used premium funds to invest in their business, including purchasing necessary equipment such as fermentation boxes and industrial dryers.