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La florida

La Florida, coffee, Peru (producer)

In 1966, a group of 50 coffee farmers from the Chanchamayo region of Peru – known for its mixture of mountains and jungle – united to form La Florida (Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera La Florida), one of the oldest co-operatives in the country. They were united through their struggle to negotiate fair prices from local coffee buyers. By the 1990s, La Florida was selling directly to international buyers, using their Fairtrade Premium to improve local infrastructure, such as roads, schools, and hospitals. 

The co-operative became a Shared Interest customer in 2010, using an Export Credit Facility, which has increased as the co-operative has grown.

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La Florida’s performance has had ups-and-downs and in recent years, they have made great efforts to achieve and consolidate their sustainability. Today, La Florida has managed to offer its coffee in more than nine countries worldwide, thus becoming a model for co-operatives throughout Peru. 

They have an international reputation for environmental training, offering their members support in farm management, providing organic fertilisers and seeds to help diversify their sources of income. 

General Manager, Jesús Damiano, added: “We are committed to protecting our environment and for that reason we educate farmers on how to shield the soil from erosion, how to retain moisture, and how to restore soil fertility. Our members believe their children are the future of the co-operative and we are also focussed on educating strong leaders, capable of taking on management roles.”

We spoke to Board member Gladys Baltazar about how the co-operative has coped with the impact of the pandemic. She told us: “It has been a year of great uncertainty. We had to adapt quickly to the new environment and continuous changes. 

“The positive thing is that we all worked together with empathy and commitment, hand in hand with communities. Because of mutual collaboration with local farmers, we managed to collect coffee on time.”

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