Think of Zara the next time you take a sip of your favorite fair-trade, organic coffee.
Zara is a hard-working mother of three who grows organic coffee on small plot of land in northern Peru near the Ecuadorian border. She is a "minifundista," one of Peru's small-scale coffee farmers who produce the majority of the country's coffee, yet have a difficult time accessing credit and other critical services that can help them make progress out of poverty.
That is why Zara's membership in Aprocassi, a small coffee cooperative, is so critical to her success. Because of the training Aprocassi provides—such as one-on-one technical assistance and workshops—she has been able to improve her yields and the quality of her product, and thus her profits. With Aprocassi's help, Zara is now a certified organic grower, which means she can charge 30 percent more for her beans. Aprocassi also helps her buy critical goods such as seeds and fertilizer at lower cost, and provides access to savings.
Thanks to her increased income from her organic coffee sales, Zara has been able to send her youngest son to university.