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CEPROAP - Central de Productores Agroecológicos Pichanaki

Central de Productores Agroecológicos Pichanaki (CEPROAP) is an umbrella organization of 21 member cooperatives located in the Pichanaki region of Peru. It began as a small organization of 45 small farmers who came together to collectively receive training on sustainable farming techniques and access the international market without going through exploitative local buyers.

With the support of the Green Development Foundation and VSF-CICDA, CEPROAP reforested 70,000 trees. Members have diversified their income by cultivating fruit, legumes and cocoa for the market. CEPROAP also sells small quantities of their coffee to the local market under the Cafenaki Chanchamayo brand.

Doña Elizabeth begins by explaining the history of the cooperative. Founded in 2003, it now has 178 member coffee producers on a total area of ​​12,000 acre's..There is in this region many private companies exporting coffee and it is recalling the successes of one of them, most important, LA FLORIDA, that the idea came to the founders to come together and create this cooperative, initially with the support of 28 members. The manager was present at the initiative of the project, after university, she agreed to work for two years volunteering for the cooperative and was then appointed manager. But how do you organize a fundraising coffee and then export without the necessary financial resources? The answer came from a project, called INCA HAGO, whose purpose was to promote the export of coffee quality and under an organic label. The young cooperative has applied for and was at the time allocated a budget of $ 70 000 of an international fund, which enabled him to start an organic production by acquiring the necessary materials and looking for its first customers.


But the purpose of creation of the cooperative was to achieve autonomy not only in coffee production but in export and marketing.
Doña Elisabeth then told me a very moving story, that of export of the first container of the cooperative in 2004. "Back then, the cooperative had no financial resources. But the first problem: how to collect coffee from members without having the money to pay them? A container contains 18,275 pounds of green coffee, but how and where to find them? We realized that this was about two bags of coffee per member and we had the idea to ask each of the members to kindly "lent" to the cooperative these two bags, that is- say deliver in July but not receive payment until November. And miraculously, at our general meeting, one of the members proposed to give five sacks, another 08, another 10 and very quickly with about 35 members, the container was filled. They had so little faith in their cooperative to accept and deliver the goods without being paid immediately, and especially without the certainty of being paid eventually.
The second problem is always lack of financial resources, how cooperative she was able to perform the processing of the coffee (removing the bark and the sort) and also pay for transport to Lima, the filling of the container, then all the formalities administrative export?
We then had the idea to challenge a sister cooperative, CECOVASA, because we knew a lot older than us and who worked with a common customer. Indeed, in October, four months after delivery of the coffee producers were beginning to get impatient and demanding their due. With the support of one of its leaders, Miguel Paz, CECOVASA agrees to advance us the money we owe our customer so we can reimburse members . Moreover, in negotiating the contract with the customer in Europe, we lack terribly experienced in pricing. At the time, was paid 70 soles per quintal in conventional coffee, we asked a price of 75.