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