Coffee. For some people, it’s the only thing that can get them out of bed on a morning. Coffee shops are commonplace up and down the high streets of cities and towns all over the world to get through the 9-5 workday.
But what about the growers of coffee?
The Cuchumatanes Mountains that rise through Central America provide a perfect climate for coffee to grow in the Huehuetenango region. Taking advantage of the climate and the chalky soils in this region mean that growing high-quality coffee can become a very profitable business when done right. This where ACODIHUE come in.
The Role of ACODIHUE
In the North West Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, ACODIHUE (Asociación de Cooperación al Desarrollo Integral de Huehuetenango) is an organisation made up of 20 agricultural associations in the region that produce and export coffee. They started in 1996 with the support of the EU and the Guatemalan Government and are now working with Fairtrade to improve local community development.
There are a number of objectives of ACODIHUE that aim to ensure a fair and competitive coffee price and encouraging social and economic development for farmers and local communities. These include:
- Provide support to farmers to meet the volume and quality requirements that the market is looking for
- Empower the associations to become strong business
- Facilitate marketing to create new business
- Financially support its members to expand
- Lead and support farm and forest protection programmes
- Improve access to services generally for the community
ACODIHUE’s work with Fairtrade has provided a number of success stories for coffee growers in this region. By contributing to the Fairtrade premium ($1 per box of coffee beans), local growers have been able to part-fund the construction of a storage and distribution centre, establish health, nutrition and education programmes, improve water conservation in a typically water-intensive industry, and provide educational programmes and scholarships for the local community.