As previously reported, we scouted numerous coffee cooperatives in the Sololá department of Guatemala to see which would be a good fit with DLG and would benefit the most from our model. We have seen the impact of our model with DLG's current partner cooperatives, and wanted to expand to reach more of Guatemala’s hard-working coffee farmers. We are pleased to announce that we have chosen two co-ops to join our family.
Ija'tz has a long history of community-based projects driven by local need. Through a partnership with the local Catholic parish, the organization designed and implemented an innovative water management system on a nearby piece of land to help the town avoid flooding during the rainy season, and promote good agricultural practices. They also received foreign support to build a coffee processing facility for the benefit of small producers, and at their height sold larger volumes of coffee. Like many organizations they have had ups and downs, and the damage caused by massive flooding from storms forced them to reduce their ambitions for a few years and focus on recovering. They now have a dedicated team of leaders working to rebuild and benefit their community, and we were impressed by their drive, leadership, and perseverance. We felt that they are at a stage where a partnership with DLG will be a key element toward revitalizing this engine of community economic opportunity.
Cooperative San Miguel (Tzampetey) has worked over decades to build a strong organization that serves a number of rural communities. Located in a small town in the city of San Antonio Palopó, the group has a large active membership and has added, through local collaboration and foreign support, significant infrastructure as well as participated in training on best practices. While they have many of the tools they need to be successful, the have still struggled to connect significantly with buyers to sell into the export market to reap the corresponding economic reward. As one of DLG’s key strengths is working with cooperatives to bring them into the North American market through our partnerships with roasters across the country, it was a natural partnership to bring them on and begin the process of helping them grow at this exciting stage in their development.
With the two new cooperatives, DLG will need help funding the additional projects planned for each as well as financing the purchase of the coffee come harvest time. If interested, please contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 617-963-0962. Roasters who would like to discuss availability of these coffees in the US and Canada for the coming harvest can contact email@example.com.