AIPEP, the Asociacion Integral de Productores Ecologicos de Pumiri, is a primary-level producer association, located in the small village of Pumiri tucked away in the Yungas mountains in the province of Caranavi in Bolivia.
The association was formally founded in 2002. From its beginnings, members worked hard to develop the internal systems for excellent organic production and quality control. AIPEP obtained organic certification when it was founded, but had no export market. It wasn’t until 2006 that AIPEP developed a direct relationship with a buyer, thanks to the support of FECAFEB, Federacion de Caficultores Exportadores de Bolivia.
In the spring of 2006, FECAFEB facilitated an extensive tour of the Bolivian Yungas region for Cooperative Coffees, and we were so impressed by AIPEP’s organization and member participation, that we decided to partner with them. Out of that visit, came our first contracts of Bolivian Fair Trade and organic coffee which helped AIPEP eventually achieve FLO certification and its first exports via FECAFEB. We have continued to purchase coffee from AIPEP every year since. In 2016, the organization obtained its own export permit and Fair Trade certification in order to export coffee directly to Cooperative Coffees. This is quite a feat for an organization with such a small number of farmers!
At its heart, AIPEP has also kept solid mechanisms for assuring participation and administrative oversight by members. Every time we visit AIPEP, their board of directors convenes a meeting at the local two-room school house, so that a majority of members can meet their buyers.
Tasting profile: Medium bodied, mild acidity, earthy, brown sugar, tobacco and nougat.
Asociacion Integral de Productores Ecologicos de Pumiri
Social Premium Investment: 2019 Crop YearFair 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 YieldsPurchase materials for member nurseries Purchase llama manure for organic fertilizer
Community DevelopmentSupport for local school in purchase of materials for upkeep of schoolhouse. Purchase materials for intercolegial games.
Healthcare supportDentistry care for members and children of members