Level Ground purchases coffee from Cooperativa de Caficultores de Andes, who purchases coffee for Level Ground from four small associations of small-scale farmers.
Background of Organization
The Coffee Farmers' Cooperative of Andes was founded in 1961 with the goal of providing sustainable and efficient market for coffee farmers as the best socio-economic alternative for coffee farming families who are members of the co-op. Its mission is to participate actively in the economic development of of the region. Currently the Co-op has over 4000 members.
South West Antioquia, near Andes, Colombia
Type of Organization
Four small associations of farmers (less than 250 farmers in total) sell dry parchment coffee (dpc) to Co-op Andes for shipment to Level Ground. Farm sizes are small scale (2-7 acre plots). Farmers grow coffee as their main source of income (70% of total income) and only crop for export. Banana, cassava, citrus, grass for cattle, corn, beans are often also grown interspersed with coffee trees. Their estimated harvest is 1000 kg/farm.
La Chaparrala, Santa Ines, Bella Vista (Betania) and Aguas Lindas located in the South West Antioquia, near Andes
October through December and May through June
Bourbon, Caturra, Colombia, Typica
Yes; plants used for shade grown include Cordia alliodora (in the borage family), guava, avocado, yellow acacia, and erythrina
Average Income for Farmers
$3,400 USD/year before expenses
Estimated Living Wage
Direct Fair Trade Premiums
Premiums from purchases of Colombia coffee, are directed towards educational scholarships for children of farming families. In 2010, a total of 47 students received scholarships - 38 primary, secondary and high school students, 9 University students.
The Bedoya Family
The Bedoya Family farm 5 acres of coffee and food crops on a narrow canyon in the coffee region of Colombia near Andes. They grow caturra and Colombian variety arabica coffee under the shade of citrus fruits and banana trees. The Bedoya family have benefitted from Direct Fair Trade with Level Ground since 1999. Their son, Francisco, earned a scholarship funded by Café San Miguel premiums. He is now a pharmacologist in Medellin.