Our friend Carlos from the CIPAC co-operative in Guatemala visited Traidcraft HQ for the first time last week, to tell us all about how the sales of Fairtrade honey and coffee is transforming the lives of farmers and their communities.
“You have already made a substantial difference in our lives and we have hope for a better future for our children.” Carlos Garcia, CIPAC’s General Manager, beekeeper, coffee grower and GEOBAR lover.
Fairtrade honey is a vital ingredient that goes into every Geobar, which comes from both the Apicoop co-operative in Chile and CIPAC.
With the demand of Fairtrade honey, over 15 years CIPAC has risen from 22 beekeepers to 132. With an average family size of five the co-operative supports around 660 people.
Thanks to our fair trade partnership in addition to above average pay our friends at CIPAC have also:
• Invested in equipment – providing farmers with beehives
• Built a honey and coffee collection centre
• Provided educational support for children in the community
• Set up an emergency fund – for unexpected expenses such as trips to the hospital
• Offered low interest loans
The co-operatives hopes for the future are that with the continued demand for Fairtrade honey and coffee they will:
• Continue to grow its number of members and improve their housing, as much of the housing is basic with earth floors and walls.
• Invest in hoists and fork lifts, at 300kg per honey drum, it takes a few strong people to lift them onto the lorry!
• Educate their children and provide employment for them close to home and their families, currently they head off to Mexico for work!