CENCOIC's 378 member families are stewards of their land, which is spread over 24 reservations, located in the area known as "La Meseta de Popayan" in the department of Cauca. The co-operative has begun to introduce environmentally-friendly growing and processing techniques. They have reduced by 25% the amount of chemical fertilisers used by using organic compost produced in their own farms, and their coffee is grown in 40% shade, encouraging the cultivation of the chachafruto, a native tree whose seeds can also be used for animal feed, to be used as shade for the coffee.
CENCOIC was founded in 1980 as the commerical arm of the indigenous movement in Cauca, Colombia (CRIC), and is made up of producer groups belonging to at least 24 indigenous reservations in the department of Cauca, and different indigenous groups located in the municipalities of Caldono, Piendamó, El Tambo, Santander de Quilichao, Toribio, Jambalo, Inza, Buenos Aires and Suarez. Its main objective has been protecting the Colombian indigenous populations from political violence, ensuring their rights and providing them tools to achieve higher incomes as a whole. The organization became Fair Trade certified in 1995 and since 2006, it has used its Fair Trade status to reduce the gap between the dominant multi-national roasters and small coffee producers.
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