Sol & Cafe is a cooperative of over a thousand members in the north-western part of Peru. Their high-quality coffee beans are imported by a number of Canadian companies.
About Sol & Café
Sol & Café was formed in 2005 by 27 small-scale coffee producers wanting to work towards sustainability and to improve the wellbeing of its members and their families. As the organization grew, they started to explore ways to access new markets, and were granted Fairtrade certification in 2011. This has helped to ensure better prices, training and professional growth for farmers, and has strengthened the organization by making it more competitive. In recent years, their coffee won first prize in a regional competition, placed 2nd in all of Peru, and came 9th in a world-wide competition.
"[Fairtrade] is important because it allows for better living conditions; it educates our children. Our clients pay us a fair price for our product, which has supported the implementation of a dry processing plant, improving the quality of our coffee." Augusto Vazques Llama, Sol & Café Member
All Fairtrade producers receive a Fairtrade Premium on top of the sale price which is intended for investment in their communities. Coffee producers are required to use 25% of this Premium for improvements in productivity and quality. Sol & Café has done this in a number of ways, by:
- providing technical assistance, ecological training, and soil analysis to members;
- renovating 20 hectares of coffee crops, directly benefitting 40 small-scale producers; and
- providing infrastructure and equipment to processing areas.
The organization has used the other 75% of Premium funds for a wide range of projects. To improve organizational infrastructure they have built offices and a storage facility in Jaén, and constructed a bodega and installed electricity in San Agustín. They have also invested in educational programs on cooperative management, principles, and values, as well as business development, marketing and promotion.
They have also implemented a health program, which promotes health and wellbeing for organization members and their families, and there is a social fund for members which covers the cost of funerals.
This short (2-minute) video gives you a brief overview of Fairtrade at Sol & Café.