ProdeCoop

in
ProdeCoop

was the first beneficio we visited. Located in Palacag├╝ina they buy quite a bit of coffee from small producers in the area (and a couple of good sized cooperativas, the Laureano Flores cooperative located one Km from my farm sells their product to Prodecoop).

http://www.prodecoop.com/beneficio-seco.html

Their motto of "Comercio Justo en El Campo" probably appeals to small growers who will never have coffee that is outstanding, although Laureano Flores did win the Taza de Excelencia some years back. Many small growers simply take what comes each year, with little or no re-investment in their plants. Their primary crops might be beans and corn, and they have a few coffee plants growing on land that isn't suitable for other crops. The coffee provides a welcome bit of cash -beyond the cash they have no interest in the coffee.

Prodecorp wouldn't sell us a quintal of green beans, although we did buy two pounds of their roasted coffee. They had the feel of a quasi-government agency, with a lot of overhead. Very nice offices.

They have their own packaging line, and I have seen their Cafe de Palo brand in various stores. I put it through my Saeco the following day, and it's OK,, but nothing to write home about. Certainly not the excellence that Renando, Buenos Aires, and Santos Gaitan are striving towards. Social justice has its costs.

The pic is of a container of coffee going to Portland, Oregon. The coffee leaves Nicaragua from the port of Corinto. I continue to be astonished at the number of small coffee buyers in the US. The market is enormous.

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I'm also surprised at the number of places that deal with small producers and even import green beans to roast.

Yes we have a relatively

Yes we have a relatively large one here in Kingston Sue where they do all their own roasting and buy locally throughout SA and CA. Strictly fair trade they do a lot of wholesale but a very reasonable retail side as well. Check it out next time you are in town, Multatuli.

http://www.multatulicoffee.com/

Equator a Coffee

Equator Coffee in Almonte is highly rated. All fair trade and you can buy green beans there if you want them. They also donate some proceeds to the SchoolBox charity for building schools in Nicaragua.