The Asociación Agroartesanal de Productores Ecológicos de Palanda y Chinchipe (APECAP) was founded in the year 2002 as part of a greater push from small producers in the south of Ecuador to organize. Along with other regional organizations like APECAEL in Loja , Procafeq in Quilanga, Procap in Puyando they formed the Secondary level exporting cooperative FAPECAFES , representing over 1000 coffee smallholding families.

20% of the canton of Palanda forms part of the Poducarpus National Park and buffer zone. The area is characterized for its varied topography, spanning valleys and hillsides, where some of the highest peaks provide the glacial headwaters  for the four principal watersheds that serve as the hidrological heart of southern Ecuador and Northern Peru. This provides for a richly diverse ecosystem in the region's cloudforests, with 70 known species of trees, 63 species of orquids, 606 identified vertebrates of which 560 are birds.

The area has the perfect temperatures and rainfall patterns to satisfy the demands of agriculture, serving as a breadbasket for inhabitants, producing coffee, cacao, plantains, yuca, carrot, sweet potato, tree tomato, passion fruit, guava, beans, maize as well as providing grazing land for cattle and other livestock. In addition to coffee, APECAP and its members grow and commercialize a series of other products like, honey, plantains and papaya, to improve farmer income and strengthen the organization.

Such an ecological richness and diversity has led to the emergence and recognition of the area for its quality, earning recognition multiple years in a row thorugh competitions such as Taza Dorada. Their focus on quality has led APECAP to co-found, along with their sister-organization ACRIM in Zumba, the Bracamoros Competition. During this yealy competition, an international panel of judges will select and award prizes to the highest scoring coffees submitted by their small-scale farmers. Since 2014, Cooperative Coffees has been participating in the cupping panel of this competition and in the subsequent micro-lot auction. Such quality initiatives have in many cases quadrupled the income of farmers, and helped raise the profile of Ecuadorian coffees.

Asociación Agroartesanal de Productores Ecológicos de Palanda y Chinchipe


Varietals Grown:

  • 40% Typica
  • 25% Caturra
  • 20.7% Typica
  • 10% Catimor
  • 10% Pache Colis
  • 0.1% Bourbon
  • 0.1% Other
  • 0.1% Colombia

Social Premium Investment: 2018 Crop Year Fair Trade Certification guarantees 20 cents/lb of the price paid a producer organization is set aside as a social premium. How this money is invested is a decision taken collectively by the general assembly of members at the end of each harvest. Below is a break down of how producers in this organization chose to spend their fair trade premium.

Improve Yields Constructing a biofábrica for the preparation of organic fertilizer and other inputs.
Community Development Paying for a life and disability insurance for members.
Operations Support for quality control and quality development