About Fair Trade

Producer Stories Back


Now that our consortium is Fairtrade-certified, prices are stable and we receive a guaranteed premium. We spend the money on education, environmental protection, roads and bridges, and improving the old processing plant. – Gerardo


Fairtrade Coffee

Gerardo Arias Camacho is a coffee farmer and a board member of his local Llano Bonito coffee co-operative.


He is married with three children. His oldest son is in college, and his two other children are receiving school education. He also said that with the help of Fairtrade, they might all be able to go to university and get a degree.


Gerardo was born and raised on the family coffee farm. However, back in 1988, coffee prices fell dramatically and his father had no other choice but to pull him and his two school-age brothers out of school, unable to pay for the costs.


Gerardo worked for eight years in New Jersey and finally earned a sufficient amount of money to purchase the family farm from his parents. He believes that his cooperative would have been out of business if it were not for Fairtrade. Currently, he is satisfied that he can support his family on the land where he was born.


COOCAFE’s (El Consorcio de Cooperativas Cafetaleras de Guanacaste y Montes de Oro R.L.) mission is to endorse the development of communities through environmentally sustainable coffee production. It processes, markets and exports its members’ coffee. It also supports diversification of income sources to lessen dependency on coffee, and create employment.


COOCAFE has been Fairtrade certified since 1989 and sold around 1,100 tons to Fairtrade buyers in 2010. For these sales, it receives the Fairtrade Minimum Price of 140 cents/lb, and the Fairtrade Premium of 20 cents/lb to invest in business development and community or environmental programs.


The Fairtrade premium has been invested in a wide variety of projects, such as reforestation, replacement of ageing coffee trees, and scholarships for farmers’ children.