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Food Security and Fair Trade Coffee

April 2009

The Oaxaca State Coffee Producers Network (CEPCO), one of Grassroots International’s partners in Mexico, works with largely indigenous coffee-growing families to fortify their economic wellbeing. CEPCO has been instrumental in strengthening organic coffee production among members and in diversifying the local economic base in an effort to ensure that local indigenous communities can stay on their traditional collectively owned land.

CEPCO is a Fair Trade co-operative that markets its organic coffee through our long-time ally Equal Exchange.  However, given the instability of commodities markets, its members cannot rely solely on the export of coffee to build sustainable livelihoods for farmers and their communities.  Grassroots International supports one of CEPCO’s strategies to increase food security and diversify income sources: the Women’s Vegetable Garden project.  CEPCO’s skill-building training programs have educated women in the practices of organic agriculture, fish farming and animal husbandry.  Since 2007 CEPCO has successfully sustained 11 community-training plots as sample family vegetable gardens for the production of vegetables; trained community women on production of 10 different types of vegetables; and established 200 family production units in 15 different communities.

To learn more, read the article on Equal Exchange’s blog.

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