We met Jorge Henao and his father Pedro Henao, members of the Aguadas Cooperative, at the launch event for the new Nespresso Fairtrade partnership. Following school, Jorge returned to his family farm in Caldas, Colombia, to continue as a coffee farmer. Thanks to benefits from Nespresso's AAA Program, Fairtrade and innovative programs from their cooperative, Jorge now sees a future in coffee.
Luis Marin Garcia is the manager of UCASUMAN, one of the first organizations to receive a loan from the Fairtrade Access Fund. Their organization received $350,000 in pre-financing to help their cooperative buy coffee from their members and sell it to their commercial partner.
This interview comes from the Specialty Coffee Association of America's annual conference, which was held this year in Boston, MA. The expo is an important event not only linking Fairtrade producers to buyers and traders, but also giving them access to important training and support opportunities.
We interviewed Delmi Regalado of COCAFELOL, a cooperative in Honduras, at the SCAE Coffee Event in Vienna, Austria. COCAFELOL has had a fair amount of success and Delmi was at the SCAE to continue building up important contacts in the coffee industry.
“Hola, my name is Delmi Regalado. I work with the cooperative COCAFELOL in Ocotepeque, Honduras. We work with 500 coffee producers of which 200 are also certified Fairtrade organic. This was our first year with Fairtrade certification and the truth is it has been a good experience for the producers and we are beginning with this and we sell about 20% of our coffee with the seal.
“So far the only project we have done is helping the community build a coffee cupping school for children to learn about cupping coffee. We have also helped with athletics building playing fields for sports. This is more or less what we’ve been working on.”
What was the inspiration for the cupping school?
“The inspiration was because we have seen in other countries how the coffee industry is aging. And the children in other countries, we have seen how the parents have sent them to study careers that have nothing to do with coffee. Once they grow up, they don’t have an interest in working in coffee. We hope that our children understand and [want to] do what we’re doing in cafe.”
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Come with us on a journey to the heart of Senegal’s cotton country. Cotton is the main cash crop for the locals here and a vital source of income. As we drive by, women are hand-picking cotton on small, non-irrigated family plots. Follow along from the capital, Dakar, as we head 650 kilometres to Senegal’s cotton basin, a poor region cut off from the rest of the world. From humble beginnings, many farmers are now Fairtrade certified… and reaping the benefits.
Listen to cotton farmers talk about the concrete benefits Fairtrade has brought to their communities. But also about the challenges they are facing.
Film produced in part thanks to the support of the European Union.
Sean Hawkey, along with photographer James Rodriguez, traveled the whole of Central America making images and recording the stories of Fairtrade farmers. Hawkey has also made pictures of Fairtrade farmers and workers in Senegal and Peru. Read more about Sean's work here: tmblr.co/Z4ILCy1PVT2GV
Sean Hawkey has worked in international development, advocacy and humanitarian efforts in 40 countries, spending 10 years in Latin America alone.