Organising a resistant economy in autonomous communities

Zapatista coffee production

Currently, we are purchasing coffee from two Zapatista cooperatives (among others): Coop Yachil Xojobal Chulchán organising more than 680 families from 5 regions of the Oventic Caracol and coop Yochin Tayel Kinal consisting of about 380 families. Yochin Tayel Kinal is selling their coffee also in the Mexican domestic market since 2008. Both coops are cultivating organic-certificated highland Arabica coffee. We are cooperating only with small-scale farmers uniting in cooperatives and organising production and export collectively.

Self-conception and organisation of Zapatista coffee cooperatives

Zapatista understanding of policy is fundamental for the coops' collective cooperation. Hence, decisions are taken according to grass-roots democracy and seats on the board are rotating. The idea behind rotation being the exchange of know-how and more coop members knowing their way around administrative duties. Additionally, the regular exchange of the board is supposed to counter corruption and favouritism.

Accordingly, individual members are elected president, treasurer or secretary. Subsequently, they are responsible for their respective assignment for the next two years via this imposed Cargo (approximately: burden). They are not getting paid for this work. Other coop members are working their land in return during this period because they do not have time to take care of their own coffee fields. Traditionally, all members undertake voluntary tasks serving the community for a specific period.

Serving in the board typically means much work for the board member, on-the-job training in new work sectors (e.g. export processing) and time away from their families because they have to be present in the Caracoles for meetings. The distribution of coffee sales revenue among farmers, the coop and the Zapatista movement as a whole is benefiting all. For instance, common acquisitions and construction projects e.g. warehouses for coffee storage, mechanical examination and weighing, can be realised by the coops. Moreover, coops are supporting the Caracoles financially resulting in benefits to those Zapatistas not directly involved in the coffee trade.

As a result, the region has experienced a substantial boom and developed into a role model for the establishment of additional cooperatives, e.g. in manufacturing. Furthermore, organic farming is an essential part of Zapatista coffee coops' self-conception: They have a traditional deep understanding of environment and nature and are differentiating themselves on purpose from government-friendly farmers by pursuing sustainable cultivation.

Report on the social situation in Mexico

In Mexico, repression and struggles against mega projects are increasing. A "civilising crisis" encompasses the region, an indigenous delegation reports. » more

Declaration of Solidarity: Stop the war against Zapatista communities!

The situation in Chiapas is escalating and paramilitary attacks are increasing. In the Zapatista community of Moisés y Gandhi, one person was seriously injured by gunfire. » more

New coffee harvest 2023

With the new harvest, our warehouses are filling up again with raw coffee, also from new cooperatives. Soon all 5kg bulk packs will be available again and we can recalculate our sales prices. » more

Resistance against mega project in the Philippines

Interview with an anarchist environmentalist campaigning against the hydropower station and dam project. » more

More favourable terms for orders from abroad

While prices are rising everywhere as a result of war and crises, we can now offer better conditions for international shipping. Domestic shipping costs remain stable. » more

New harvest, new prices

As the new harvest is arriving and raw coffee prices for small-scale farmers' coops have improved considerably, we now have to increase our sales prices as well. » more

Teaser Teaser
The idea of Zapatism

»For a world where there is space for many worlds« is one of the messages from the Lacandonian djungle » more

Our calculation

We are importing 2945 sacks of raw coffee from six cooperatives in this year. » more