De Enitel Central 1 1/2 Cuadra al Norte
Contact: Eddy Tenorio,
CECOCAFEN, the Organization of Northern Coffee Cooperatives, is an umbrella organization for the promotion and sale of quality coffees from nine cooperatives representing 2,078 coffee farmers exporting over four million pounds of coffee annually.
The basis of their operations rests upon producing quality coffee, establishing programs for ecological practices, and offering equitable opportunities for integrated development in their members' communities.
- Income from sales has enabled the cooperative to implement a variety of social and quality
improvement programs, including:
- Credit programs for women - More than 225 women participate in CECOCAFEN's savings and loan program. Organized into 15 independent groups, women use the funds to invest in activities that provide income diversification and food security.
- Infrastructure improvements - Revenues from 1999 helped CECOCAFEN finance a solar processing plant, SOLCAFE, which is now the leading mill in the area, aiding creation of 20 permanent and 350 seasonal jobs. A quality control laboratory was installed in 2002 and depulping machines were also purchased.
- Technical Assistance and Sustainable Agriculture - CECOCAFEN is committed to environmental sustainability through water and soil preservation and promoting organic and shade coffee cultivation. It provides training for its members in organic and shade cultivation, terracing, soil conservation, and crop diversification, already benefiting 493 farms.
- Education - CECOCAFEN offers reading and writing programs, already benefiting over 150 community members.Thus far, using Fair Trade revenues, the cooperative has funded 134 secondary school scholarships, 30 university scholarships, and 19 technical school scholarships to cooperative members and their children.
CECOCAFEN serves 2,078 affiliated coffee farmers organized at the grassroots level into 43 primary cooperative societies. These societies in turn belong to nine large cooperatives and two unions of smaller associations, directly benefiting roughly 7,000 rural people. Additionally, CECOCAFEN/SOLCAFE provides milling and export services to 4 non-member co-ops representing 700+ people.
In 2007, CECOCAFEN had 2,078 active members, 457 of whom were women. CECOCAFEN is a "second-level" processing and marketing organization, and also operates a wholly owned agro-industrial processing facility called "Beneficio Solcafé"(SOLCAFE). The processing plant is equipped with ample drying beds, a complete line of sorting machines, and a fully equipped cupping laboratory. Internalizing these steps for processing and testing allows CECOCAFEN to improve quality control and to negotiate significantly better prices for the farmers. It is an impressive sight - from tiny piles to great pyramids - to see their members' coffee spread across the drying patios. Additionally, CECOCAFEN provides milling and export services to 4 non-member co-ops representing approximately 700 people total.