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.

pachamama_raul_del_aguila.jpg

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.

DSC_0256_edit_thaleon_tremain_h%20copy.jpg

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

4 Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste

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.

Understanding CBD

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.

How is CBD different from what I might find in a dispensary?

Meet Cooking Class Instructor Charlie Douglass

Many talented local chefs share their expertise in the Co-op Kitchen. Charlie Douglass is no exception. As the former Master Chocolatier at Harry and David, Charlie knows a thing or two about chocolate and candy making. 

Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

Meet Cooking Class Instructor Tiazza Rose

From bread baking to Moroccan cooking, many talented local chefs share their expertise in the Co-op Kitchen. We'd like you to meet a few of them. Tiazza Rose has been teaching the Ashland community the art of Moroccan cooking for years. If you haven't taken a class from Tiazza yet, you should. Here's why.

 

Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

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:

Give the Gift of Good Food

During the month of November, Co-op shoppers can nourish their own families and help fight hunger in the Rogue Valley. We’ve teamed up once again with Smart Chicken® for the Smart Giving Holiday Challenge.

Here’s how it works.

  • For every 10 pounds of Smart Chicken® you purchase from the Meat Department or the Deli, Smart Chicken® will donate one pound of chicken to a local non profit

We're All Turtles

By Dean Williamson, Board of Director

My grandmother loved to talk. Oh, could she talk! And she had one expression that I’ve always really liked. “If you come across a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself.”

Love Local with the Local Guy

Throughout September, we will be celebrating all things local. And no one loves local or is more local than our Temporary Demo Coordinator, Brighton Litjens. He was basically raised at the Co-op, has a strong passion for local farmers and producers and loves delighting shoppers with delicious samples and great deals. Who better to tell us about loving local than the "Local Guy" himself?

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Trine Ostergaard

Trine Ostergaard is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. She brings a world, literally, of experience to the table and has a sincere passion and love for the Co-op. We are thrilled to have her aboard and asked her to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. He brings to the table a plethora of co-op experience and a love of chocolate chip cookies. We are thrilled to have him aboard and asked him to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Staff Picks: Favorite Local Products

September is Love Local Month!  All month long we’re celebrating our local farmers and vendors with demos, events and more. Here are some of our staff's favorite local products.

Mike_SpecialtiesDepartment.jpg

How Can I Reduce My Plastic Use at the Co-op?

By Rianna Koppel, Sustainability Coordinator

Plastic pollution today is a global dilemma. Did you know that more than 40% of plastic is used once, then tossed? In 2015, 79% of total plastic waste ended up in landfills or the environment. How can our co-op help reduce the amount of single-use plastics? Luckily, we offer a variety of options for owners.

Stainless Steel Straws