Located in the province of Jaen, in the rural department of Cajamarca, Peru, Sol & Café was founded in 2005 with support from Caritas Jaen, a Catholic social service and humanitarian organization, member of the Caritas Internationalis. This cooperative moved quickly to acquire the necessary organic and fair trade certificates in order to sell directly into North American and European coffee markets. Its initial 27 producer base groups have grown to more than 60 producer associations, bringing together some 1,000 farmer families. Sol & Café continues to share an office space in the Caritas complex in Jaen, where it maintains a warehouse and quality control lab.
Sol & Café has followed a steady growth plan, with clear and strictly applied membership criteria. Members are expected to actively participate in the development of their cooperative and to contribute to its growth, by bringing in at least 51% of their estimated harvest. Producers who wish to join, first need the visto bueno of existing members within their community. Or, if the applicant comes from a community not yet associated to Sol & Café, he or she will be visited by the president of the board, to assure that the candidate comes with the intentions of becoming a contributing cooperative member and dedicated to producing high-quality, organic coffee.
Sol & Café”s growth plan is working, with export levels around 80% of the total collective harvest, and members showing regularly as top finishers in quality competitions held nationally and abroad. In addition to award winning quality, Sol & Café manages a sophisticated system of quality triage, helping their technical team hone in on farmers who need more assistance in growing and processing. The organization has developed impressive digital systems to manage traceability, from farmer delivery at warehouse to container, which has facilitated an integrated system of quality incentives, where higher qualities and yields render higher prices to farmers.
Also, this coop has demonstrated an incredible capacity for innovation, regeneration and the implementation of clear and specific strategies for climate resiliency and adaptation by promoting field renovation and systematic pruning practices that have resulted in maintaining extraordinary vitality in their trees and greater climate resiliency in their fields.
Cooperative Coffees began working with Sol & Café in 2012, importing their members’ coffee with unique characteristics of jasmine floral fragrances, sweet tropical fruit, honey vanilla and caramel flavors, balanced with crisp acidity and a creamy, full body. Sol & Café has quickly become a solid and integral member of the Coop Coffees’ producer partner network, with its excellent communication, coffee quality and services to its members.
Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Sol y Café Ltda.
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.
OperationsInsurance and security at collection warehouses Processing, transport and commercialization expenses
Improve YieldsAwards for best farms and for best quality from internal quality competition Financing technical department, suporting salaries of agronomist technicians, field technicians, organic promoters, project managers and researchers and other administrative staff as well as stipends for interns Support for coffee, cacao and shade tree nurseries. Rehabilitation of coffee plantations and soil analysis
EducationSupporting the SOl de Nororiente school, financing admin building, a school bus, and teacher's salaries Professional development workshops and training s for coop employees in production, commercialization, administration. Education scholarships for masters programs and specializations on related fields. Workshops with members in base associations for financial literacy and management. Governance and institutional trainings.
InfastructureConstruction materials, equipment and tools for base associations to construct and equip collection and drying centers. Field and office equipment. Computers, communication, security technology, etc.
Healthcare supportPreventative health programs and sensibilization, campaign to expand health insurance coverage of members, contributions to mortuary and emergency health fund for members. supporting health and safety in the workplace committee
Certification CostsWorkshops on certification management (RA, Organic, CAFE Practices, FT, SPP), internal inspection forms, certification committee meetings, internal and external audit services, printing notebooks for farmers to manage farm activities, upkeep of online form system IFORM builder
OtherDevelopment of technical and economic profiles of membership Other expenditures