Presently, we are cooperating with six cooperatives from Oaxaca and Chiapas in Mexico, Marcala in Honduras, Puntarenas in Costa Rica and Santa Marta in Columbia. Cooperatives are associations of small-scale farmers processing and exporting their coffee in a self-organised way, thereby increasing the value added locally in coffee production, strengthening both collective structures in rural communities and the foundation of social protests. Organic coffee from Zapatista cooperatives stands for more than 'merely' organic or fair-certified coffee. You can just as well buy the latter from corporations or major landowners as a colonial heritage. Ask where your coffee comes from, who has been cultivating it and who is benefiting from its marketing.
For instance, we are supporting cooperative small-scale farmers in Zapatista communities in Chiapas producing their coffee organically beneath traditional shadow trees and free of pesticides. Coffee beans are manually removed from the pulp and dried in the sun, instead of industrial pit removal and drying usually applied in plantation coffee processing. Small-scale cultivation and processing methods are sustaining resources, mixed planting of shadow trees is supporting the climate and is improving the region's living conditions in a sustainable way.