Meet Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

By Lauren Taber, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

Pachamama Coffee Cooperative started in 2001 with a few simple questions in mind: what would it look like to take Fair Trade a step further? How can coffee farmers be in direct relationship with end consumers in the United States?

We found that the answer was even simpler: cooperative ownership. Pachamama Coffee has been 100% farmer-owned since day one, and is currently owned by 140,000 small scale family farmers across the coffee producing regions of the world.

When farmers stand behind the farming, roasting, marketing, and distribution of the coffee they bring to us, they maintain control of their destiny. On average, our customers paid almost $12 per pound to coffee farmers in 2017 — that’s 6 times more than the Fair Trade minimum price.

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As a function of our cooperative structure, Pachamama is also democratically controlled by farmers - our Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from our member cooperatives in Nicaragua, Peru, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Guatemala. This gives coffee producers complete control of every step of the supply chain - from farming and roasting, to decisions about packaging and cafe operations. This novel iteration of vertical integration gives a fresh take on how to ensure equity in an industry that relies completely on peoples and nations that have historically been denied any form of clout.

“For us, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative represents our dreams of serving you our best coffee, freshly-roasted in the United States,” shares Merling Preza, the President of our Board of Directors and representative of PRODECOOP in Nicaragua. “When we started with Fair Trade 25 years ago, it was our ultimate dream to roast and brand our coffee, selling it as a value-added product. For our small farmers, the Pachamama model is an evolution born from necessity and a strong determination to stay on the farm.”

More than that, explains Merling, it is an investment that the farmers are empowered to make in their own future. When farmers own the company, they are not under the pressure of a volatile green coffee price index, and are therefore empowered to produce coffee with more care. 100% of the coffee Pachamama roasts is organic and shade grown, which means that we are not only socially sustainable, but environmentally just as well.

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We are honored to operate our business guided by the 7 Cooperative Principles, which we view in the context of prioritizing producers. At every step, we seek to build them up and acquaint our customers with the farmers that are responsible for bringing them world class coffee. Being a co-op makes this possible - we are able to showcase our producer representatives in the boardroom, and tell the stories of the farmers that control the equity of our operations. We believe that, in order to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers in the coffee supply chain, a cooperative approach is necessary.

Pachamama has experienced steady growth since its inception. We now have in-house roasting and wholesale and retail distribution operations at our Midtown Sacramento location, in addition to two coffeebars in Sacramento and a weekly presence at the Farmer’s Market in Davis, CA. Our farmer-owners continue to provide organic coffee whose quality is recognized not only by excellent organizations such as the Good Food Awards, but by daily consumers across the U.S. as well.

More Co-op News

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In January, we asked on social media what kind of secret weapons you use in the winter to stay healthy. We had a lot of responses, so we'll start with the All-Stars.

With your initial recommendations, our Wellness team reviewed the suggestions and picked the products with the highest quality standards and best feedback. Check those out below.

 

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The mycelia differs from the fruiting body of the mushroom, which is the reproductive component that contains spores and is thought to be higher in Beta Glucans.

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Hello, this is Emile Amarotico, the general manager of Ashland Food Co-op with an update on the Co-op’s Food for Paradise initiative.

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Now’s the time to make some changes to your spending - but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality goods at the Ashland Food Co-op.

These are some lesser known ways to save at the Co-op. Think of them like ordering off the secret menu. 

Savings Level: $

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It’s the New Year, our favorite time for goal-setting, making positive resolutions, and shifting our impact. One of the Co-op’s goals is to become a Zero Waste facility. Our staff works to divert as much food waste as we can - and we hope our member-owners will join us in this goal too.

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The world of CBDs is continuing to grow, adding to our already vast assortment of medicine available, and sometimes adding to the questions we have about it. We asked our Wellness team to answer the five most common questions about CBD here at the Ashland Food Co-op.

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Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

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Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

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We'll cook. You feast.

Spend more time relaxing with friends and family this holiday. Order the Deli’s ready-to-heat and serve Thanksgiving meal without all the fuss. We make everything from scratch and all recipes use the highest quality ingredients.

Choose from three options:

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Here’s how it works.

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