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We all know, especially here in the Driftless Region - coops are powerful and essential! They connect smaller buyers with small producers, giving producers access to markets and buyers access to the kind products unique to small producers. Coops infuse democratic and direct control in an economic system that typically prevents the smallest and most marginalized players from receiving their share of the financial pie. We are proud to be one of a handful of owner members in one of the most innovative links in the coffee supply chain.

Triunfo Verde Coop Dry Mill and Chiapas Coffee Farm

Although Wonderstate frequently engages directly with producers, the cooperative serves as an invaluable conduit, facilitating essential connections with producers. Seen here is a dry mill owned and built by three exporting coops in Chiapas. To the right is a member farm of the Triunfo Verde Cooperative.

Cooperative Coffees is a green coffee importing cooperative, committed to building and supporting "Fair and Direct" trade relationships that benefit small-scale farmer families, their communities and exporting cooperatives. 

Cooperative Coffees comprises 23 community-based coffee roasters, spanning the continent from the Yukon to the panhandle of Florida. Coop members know that by working together we can more readily impact and multiply the positive effects of our coffee purchasing. Like us, each roaster member is committed to sourcing sustainably grown coffees and to partnering closely with the farmers who grow it.

Thanks to our collaboration and the leadership of Cooperative Coffees, roaster members like us have access to farmer cooperatives from all over the world. These cooperatives are local organizations founded and democratically governed by the farmers themselves. They work towards sustainable development in their communities, and strive to produce and deliver exceptional specialty coffee. 

Their approach to buying coffee and maintaining meaningful relationships very closely aligns with ours. Just like us, they understand there’s a true challenge in defining the term ‘fair’ in trade. They strive toward true partnership with producer organizations, forming deep and long-term relationships that empower farmers and encourage financial stability and improved quality of life in their communities.

Relationships can only be fair when people come to the table as equals. The Coop provides a way for producers to have full representation and a strong voting voice in defining new directions in this movement. They do this by providing transparency (see their fairtradeproof website), providing direct support, and fostering access to funds for new agricultural projects or  to assist with hardships. 

These funds come directly from coop members. For each pound of coffee purchased, each member gives $0.03 to the Impact Fund. Producers and cooperatives at origin can apply for these funds which have helped fund climate research, build water irrigation systems and disaster relief. 

Cooperative Coffees may seem quite small in this coffee world, but they make a huge impact and they stand for something even greater. 

compost and worms - farmer processing coffee - coffee farm in ChiapasWe recently returned from an expedition arranged by Cooperative Coffees, where we visited numerous exporting cooperatives and member farms. Producers in the Triunfo Verde Cooperative (seen here) have access to valuable resources like organic compost and fertilizer, financing and education.