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Regular price 82,00 zl PLN
Regular price Sale price 82,00 zl PLN
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The Taipiplaya village community is located in Caranavi, La Paz, at an altitude of 900-1950 meters above sea level. The climate of the Bolivian Yungas is ideal for growing Coffea Arabica. The plants are grown in mixed cultures and are pruned and harvested by hand. The leaves of the crop trees, under which the coffee plants mostly grow, are used as fertilizer.
The Asocafé cooperation was founded in 1990. In the 80’s a normal farmer could earn 5
times more money with coca – a versatile medicinal plant originated in Bolivia. The drug
business was booming and the demand for coca for the production of cocaine abroad
increased rapidly. At the same time the demand for coffee from Bolivia was low and almost no one considerated the small producer country Bolivia as a serious coffee partner. For farmers themselves it was totally unprofitable to sell coffee those times. But not everyone had coca plants. And besides, the government regulated its cultivation.
In 1990, some farmer families from Taipiplaya in the province Caranavi started a famine
march from Taipiplaya to La Paz. This was the birth hour of Asocafé. “We wanted to decide about prices ourselves”, whitnesses Juan, the oldest member of the cooperative. “Of course, in the beginning it was still hard. But founding a collective helped us to gain more visibility and a little more market power. In the beginning it was brokers, who bought from us. This was already a big step forward, as before we sold the coffee mainly to local traders who oftentimes abused their market power.”

Asocafé has 280 members now who are still growing their coffee organically – since the
beginning. The demand for specialty coffee from Bolivia has only grown in the last couple of years, though. “We’ve participated in a program from the US government”, explains Marco, director of Asocafé. “They showed us how to grow and select our cherries better in order to produce better coffee. We have implemented many instances of quality control since then in the washing station, and also on our dry plant in El Alto.”
Asocafé has invested in African Beds, workshops for the farmers and machines. They have been producing honey processed and natural processed coffees only since 5 years now.
They’ve started experimenting with anaerobic fermentations. Each year, younger people move up to the management of Asocafé and enrich the board with their ideas and their openness.
The cooperative works like an NGO: farmers deliver their cherries to the washing station, where they are paid as per their cherries’ quality. More than 85% of the final price for green coffee stays with them. The rest is for the workers at the washing station and on the dry plant, logistics and investments in machines – although the latter usually is still a bit difficult.
35% of the members are women, 65% are men. Most of the fincas consist of 2-3 hectars and are family businesses. Citric fruits, avocados, tropical fruits and also a bit of cocoa are usually also grown on the same areas.

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