Cafioccidente is the cooperative of coffee farmers of the southern and western regions of the Valle del Cauca department. The footprint of Cafioccidente spans the western and central mountain ranges of the Colombian Andes. It touches both sides of the geographical Cauca river valley indicates the name of the department.
This large radius includes a wide variety of growing regions, all with different growing conditions. The Cafioccidente Cooperative is responsible for analyzing, marketing, and directing the diversity of cup profiles to the right commercial channels. This allows the coop to pay farmers the highest prices, a strategy Cafioccidente pursues each harvest.
Cafioccidente has facilitated the certification of a large portion of farms with 4C, C.A.F.E. Practices, UTZ, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance certification or verification. In addition to offering a competitive purchase price to its members and bonus payments for lots that sell for above the commercial price.
The coop also invests its surplus in a variety of activities and services for its members and the community. These efforts include technical assistance to member producers, education programs, assistance diversifying farms with products other than coffee, access to insurance, access to credit, youth outreach.
Additionally, in collaboration with the Producer Market Alliance program funded by USAID, Cafioccidente is also carrying out a large-scale and multifaceted program aimed at improving coffee quality focusing on education, processing infrastructure, and continuous feedback.
“The foundation is sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. This is the lens through which we decide to make investments and carry out programs. We have invested in certifications which offer producers a price premium, ensure they are making environmental improvements, and allow the coop to invest in the communities.”