Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is committed to the development of the coffee chain in the Western Highlands of Guatemala as it offers opportunities to generate income for small coffee growers and energize local economies at scale.
As part of these efforts, CRS supported eight coffee cooperatives that work with USAID´s Communities Leading Development (CLD) project to participate in the Coffee Trade 2022 event, organized by AGEXPORT from May 18 to 20 in Antigua, Guatemala. The event offered the participants the opportunity to expand their market connections and business opportunities with domestic and international coffee buyers.
“This has been a great learning experience, I´ve connected with other producers and learned from them. There are 56 farmers in our cooperative, and I am committed to taking back and sharing the knowledge that I am gaining to continue improving our business.” – Elvia Monzón, General Manager of the Cooperativa Integral Agrícola Rancho Viejo MSME during the event.
The representatives of the eight cooperatives positioned their brands and their types of coffee and attended business meetings with potential buyers. The event was also a learning opportunity since most of the cooperatives have not had the experience of participation in events with an international scope. Participants also learned about new trends in the coffee chain through a series of conferences on coffee trade issues, sustainability, good practices to produce quality coffee, and demands of the international market, among other topics that are vital for the strengthening of participants’ capacities.
“This event is significant for the farmers in my community; this is an international platform that is positioning our coffee with new buyers. Three years ago, I participated in a similar event, and at that time we were able to connect with two new clients, I hope this time we can find more markets with fair prices because our farmers deserve a decent living, education for their children, and a healthy family.” -Macario Calmo Pérez, General Manager of the ASODIETT R.L., MSME during the event.
CLD will continue working with small coffee organizations to help them grow and consolidate their commercial, organizational, and business areas. Through events like the 2022 Coffee Trade, small farmers and cooperatives will continue to be supported to strengthen their capacities and find in coffee a viable and profitable livelihood.
“I represent 268 coffee farming families in four municipalities of Huehuetenango, most of them are women. Our goal is to open new opportunities that recognize the effort of these women to produce quality coffee.” -Heidy Marcos, General Manager of the ADIESTO, MSME during the event.