We work closely with coffee producers and buy directly from them. All producers are organized as collectives and cooperatives. This means that health care, education and the financing of the harvest are assured along with stable prices. We do not buy from distributors or coffee exchanges, so the money goes straight to the producers.

During regular visits to all of the cooperatives, we discuss problems and developments in person. You can find reports about our visits to the coffee cooperatives in the blog (in German). In addition, we work together with many other people in the coffee industry. Below you will find out about our partner cooperatives and collaborations.

Roasters United

We are part of Roasters United. This network of eleven roasters in Europe sources coffee together from cooperatives that produce green coffee. We don’t just share the import costs but also our accumulated knowledge. We collaborate when it comes to quality assurance, by transferring knowledge and by sharing the task of visiting the cooperatives.

Website: www.roastersunited.com

Mobiles Espresso Kommando, Hamburg

We collaborate closely with M.E.K. in Hamburg when it comes to repairs, service and consultation regarding espresso machines and fully automated coffee machines.

Contact: Niko Rheinländer (mek[ät]posteo[punkt]de)

ACRIM, Ecuador

The ACRIM cooperative is located in southern Ecuador near the border to Peru. It was established in 2002. At first, the members worked together with APECAP in Palanda. However, they decided to form their own cooperative due to the long distances. At the moment ACRIM is made up of 280 members, who own 1.5 hectares on average, which they cultivate with a mixed crop of coffee, bananas and oranges. All fields belonging to ACRIM members have been certified organic since 2015.

In addition to quality control and processing, training courses and seminars are offered for members at ACRIM’s building in Zumba. ACRIM members and their families automatically receive health care as this is compulsory for cooperatives in Ecuador.

The cooperative has an excellent quality assurance program. They have their own cupper, who cups all of the deliveries on a certain day and gives them points for quality. When the producers deliver their coffee in the morning they receive the base rate of $1.80 per libra (approx. 500 grams). They thus receive $3.60 for 1 kg of parchment coffee (in Pergamino). Farmers whose coffee scores more than 84 during the quality test receive a bonus of ¢10 per libra. The cupper is thus very busy during the harvest season and cups 20 samples per day.

Altitude: 1,300m – 1,900 meters
Region: Zumba, Rio Mayo
Processing: Arabica, washed, manual harvest and sorting
Website: www.fapecafes.org.ec

Rukullakta, Ecuador

Rukullakta – old people – is located in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin close to Tena. The organization of the “Pueblo Kichwa de Rukullakta” (Kichwa peoples of Rukullakta) consists of 17 indigenous communities and was established in 2006. They sell their products directly as a cooperative. Together they support the cultivation and production of high-quality washed coffee beans. They observe ecological criteria and work their fields in harmony with nature according to the Chakra principle. The coffee is washed, sorted by hand and dried in six tents at the well-equipped production facilities in Rukullakta. The tents are necessary because it rains every day here. We provide 60% of the financing for this coffee every year in April.

The current representative, Augusto Salazar, is the driving force behind the commitment to cultivate robusta. The “Pueblo Kichwa de Rukullakta” are very militant when it comes to protecting their cultural heritage. They have asserted their right to have bilingual lessons at their schools in Kichwa and Spanish, for example. We will try to strengthen our relationship with Rukullakta step by step over the coming years. But this requires time, which is not surprising when you consider the centuries of colonial exploitation.

Altitude: 500 meters
Region: Napo region, Amazonas
Processing: Robusta, washed, manual harvesting and sorting

Taramesa, Ethiopia

The Taramesa cooperative is located in the Sidama region, around 300 km south of Addis Ababa. It is very large, with 2330 members; however, members cultivate only 0.5 hectares on average. In 2014, the cooperative produced three containers of green beans. In 2016, they doubled their output to six containers. The producers receive 12 Ethiopian birrs per pound of cherries; it was only 4 birrs in 2008.

The cooperative is part of the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union – aka the Sidama Union. As the coffee trade is nationalized in Ethiopia, we can only conclude contracts with the cooperative through the Sidama Union. However, the Sidama Union works very transparently and also offers the cooperative technical and financial support.

Altitude: 1,800 – 1,900 meters
Region: District of Shebedino, Sidama
Processing: Arabica, natural, sun dried, manual harvesting and sorting
Website: www.sidamacoffee.com/

AMNSI, Guatemala

After the end of the 30-year-long civil war in Guatemala, a group of ex-guerrillas from Santiago Atitlán decided on a fresh start with a cooperative. The ideals for which they fought were meant to be transferred to civilian life in this way. The organization that they established was given the name AMNSI – Asociación Maya Nuevo Sembrador Integral, which can be translated as the “Association of New Organic Mayan Farmers”. After intense discussions, the cooperative decided to concentrate on growing coffee because Lake Atitlán is one of the best coffee growing regions in Central America.

When the cooperative was officially established in 1999, not only did 60 member families find a new livelihood but a step was also taken to support the entire community. Diego Tacaxoy, the current representative of AMNSI, says: “With the idea of forming a coffee cooperative, we aim to achieve fair prices for all coffee farmers in the region.”

After the harvest, the cooperative members bring the coffee to AMNSI warehouse, where the coffee is processed immediately. The beans are removed from the cherries, sorted by size and washed. The beans then ferment for 48 hours and are sun dried until they reach a moisture level of 12%.

Altitude: 1,600m – 1,800 meters
Region: Lake Atitlán
Processing: Arabica, washed, manual harvesting and sorting

COMSA, Honduras

The organization Café Orgánico Marcala S.A. (COMSA) was established on December 13, 2001 as an association of small farmers. They currently have 614 members, 164 women and 450 men. The majority of members are Lenca (an indigenous people). COMSA is not a cooperative in the proper sense, but a democratic stock company. All members must satisfy the criteria for fair trade and organic certification and have at least one COMSA stock, which costs 100 Honduran lempiras – approx. 4 euros. Every member has one vote, regardless of how many stocks they possess. Thus, COMSA is de facto a cooperative.

At the moment, COMSA sells 2,700 tons of green coffee, which exhibits the following characteristics in the cup: citrus-floral acidity and aroma, peach and wild blackberry flavor. COMSA has its own facilities to wet process and dry coffee in order to handle this large volume of coffee. The coffee is certified organic in Europe and Honduras and cultivated accordingly.

The cooperative takes a leading role in the development of organic farming. It carries out studies regarding carbon capturing, for example. It is also developing new methods to dry the harvested coffee. This is an important topic in a region with strong rainfall and critical regarding high quality coffee. COMSA is also a leader in water recycling and composting.

The highest organ of COMSA is the well-attended annual general assembly. Currently, COMSA has the following full-time positions: manager, administrator, administrative assistant, head of the dry mill, head of production and certification, internal inspector, officer for coffee receipt and weighing, warehouse keeper, and technician for machines and processing.

Altitude: 1,300 – 1,700 meters
Region: Marcala, La Paz
Processing: Arabica, natural, sun dried, manual harvesting and sorting
Website: www.cafeorganicomarcala.net

Permata Gayo, Sumatra

The story of Permata Gayo in northern Sumatra began in 2006 shortly after the 2004 Tsunami and the 2005 Helsinki peace deal between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement.

The cooperative began as a group of 50 founding members and now has approximately 2,000 members in 36 villages in the Bener Meriah Region. Permata Gayo is one of the few cooperatives on Sumatra that tries to carry out democratic decision-making processes and combat corruption. Quality control is getting better year by year and a tree nursery, composting facilities and improved processing plant have been built. For the lean months between the harvests, the cooperative has set up a food program so that all members have enough money to get by.

Altitude: 1,200 – 1,600 meters
Region: Gayo Highland Region – Bener Meriah
Processing: Arabica, washed, manual harvest and sorting

APPAECE, Guatemala

The Asociacion de Pequeños Productores Entre Cerros (APPAECE) is located in the San Marcos region and has 26 members with small parcels of land. Sustainable coffee cultivation that preserves and protects the surrounding ecosystem is at home here. Tropical temperatures and a mixture of volcanic and clay soils have a positive influence on the coffee’s character, which displays the highest level of quality for arabica.

Altitude: 1,750 meters
Region: Aldea Barranca Granda
Processing: Arabica, washed, manual harvest and sorting
Website: www.appaece.galeon.com

Cenfrocafe, Peru

The Cenfrocafe cooperative was established in 2005 and is located in northern Peru, not far from the Ecuadorian border. With the support of other cooperatives, the goal was to create a base for the many small coffee producers in the mountainous terrain surrounding the city of Jaén. The cooperative now has some 2,500 members. In 2010, the cooperative introduced a wide-scale quality improvement program: workshops were held, technical and agricultural advisors were trained. Today, Cenfrocafe has taken on a leading role in the cultivation of high-quality organic coffee.

Altitude: 1,600 – 2,000 meters
Region: Jaén, Cajamarca
Processing: Arabica, washed, manual harvest and sorting
Website: www.cenfrocafe.com.pe