Organic coffee farmers in the Zapatista resistance in Chiapas - Mexico
The coffee cooperatives:
'Yahil Xojoval Chulchan', 'Yochin tayal Kinal' and 'SSIT LEQUILE Lum'
Our coffee comes from the region Oventic in the highlands of Chiapas. Here, indigenous communities on the Zapatista uprising after the first liberation movement EZLN January 1994 organized independently.
The Café Libertad organized cooperative in Hamburg handles the import and distribution of this Zapatista coffee in Germany (and other European countries), it makes political solidarity work with the aim of supporting the indigenous communities in their struggle for dignity and justice . At the same time we want to strengthen our work to build an economic alternative, based on indigenous experiences, direct democracy, self-determination and management. An alternative that is based and meets the basic needs of people for adequate food, medical care, school education and better local infrastructure.
Not just "orgánico" - but more than just "organic"!
We would like to point out that the Zapatista organic coffee is not "just" certified organic coffee. Such coffee is available almost everywhere. Ask about where the coffee is coming from, who cultivated it and who profited from his marketing! We only promote small farmer family cooperatives who grow their coffee in the traditional manner under shade trees, organic pesticide-free. By hand, the coffee cherries are separated from the pulp and dried in the sun, instead of - as in the coffee plantation - right after the harvest to core industrial and dry. Such processing methods are used by corporations and private landowners ("finqueros") in organic coffee cultivation. Consider whether you want to support capitalist structures in natural food stores and at the Bio-segment support of the supermarket chains!
The concept of Café Libertad collective eG:
- We cover their costs and are organized as a collective in the form of a registered cooperative. As in the usual alternative trading, we will pay for the coffee more than the world price - at least $ 1.90 per pound of organic green coffee beans (454g). We pay more than the "fair" rules prescribed by the TransFair seal. We don't participate at TransFair because we do not "invest" in questionable advertising and sales structures, such as supermarkets do. We rather support the resistance movement in Chiapas directly with funding them directly.
- Café Libertad promoted in the last five years, with approximately 44,000 € uros including the construction of a dental emergency clinic in Morelia Caracol, the care of the refugees in Polho, the Aufbu a dental clinic, well construction and school projects in Zapatista communities.
- We have set ourselves, as founding member of our cooperative, attention not only in purchasing, but also in keeping as little as possible the cost between retailers. Therefore, we have argued, how can large retailers such as supermarkets, health food stores, etc. be able to provide large discounts of 25-45% to most other distributors of fair trade coffee? The fact is that we offer to all the coffee customers the same prices from our factory, the coffee is for private purchasing groups and other non-commercial projects, and of course accordingly for ordering directly from us it is cheaper. The high discounts need not be co-financed by the consumer.
- We have neither a profit nor do we have well paid managers, officers or directors. All group members receive the same pay by the hour.
- Our purchasing: we buy directly and without intermediaries or importers association from the cooperatives, which we pay a much higher price than most of the other fair trade importers (currently $ 1.90 per 454g organic green coffee instead of 1.51 U.S. dollars ). We also take care of insuring the shipment and the shipments themselves.
- We sit in Hamburg. Thus, the transport routes are extremely short. The coffee is here in the harbor, we store it here, here it is roasted and it is distributed from here.
The cooperatives in the Oventic district
The cooperative of courage Vitz (Hill of the Birds) involved indigenous communities that are in the six autonomous counties in the northern highlands of Chiapas - in the Oventic region: San Juan de la Libertad (officially El Bosque), Simojovel, Bochil, Jitotol, San Andrés de los Pobres Sacam'chen (Larraninzar) and Chenalhó.
Mut Vitz is an example for other oppositional small farmers in the region since 2002 have now more than 1,500 Tzeltal and Tzotzil families from 29 communities in the counties of Santa Catarina (Panthelhó), San Juan Cancúc, Chilón and Citalá that produce the Zapatista coffee together in the cooperative Yahil Xojoval Chulchan (new light in the sky).
The third cooperative Yochin Tayal Kinal works in the area of the Caracol "Whirlwind of our words" (Morelia) - it now consists of 965 members in 95 communities.