As 2021 came to a close, our co-op partners sent us their project proposals for the New Year. We look forward to another year of helping co-ops with their exciting social and environmental activism projects! We’ve already sent over funds to Cooperativa del Sur del Cauca (CoSurCa), Pangoa, Wayanad Social Service Society (WSSS) and Café Orgánico Marcala Sociedad Anónima (COMSA). Here's what they're working on:
One of our most long-standing partners, CoSurCa, sent us a $6,000 proposal for strengthening political and environmental alliances among their members.
In Cauca, Colombia, CoSurCa’s farmers live in a zone of conflict stemming from authoritarian and hegemonic armed actors, illicit crops and illegal economies. These factors are in opposition to the cooperativism and dignity for which CoSurCa strives. Despite these risks, CoSurCa is a leader in Cauca for grassroots collective work that defends rural communities, farming economies, sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation.
Through farmer training, technology and equipment, CoSurCa helped 630 member farmers work towards these goals in 2021.
With our support, CoSurCa will continue this fight in 2022 by strengthening managerial and farmer solidarity in political and economic cooperativism, climate change adaptation, gender equity, and preservation of traditional knowledge and crops.
Read more about CoSurCa’s achievements here!
Since 2006, Pangoa coffee co-op has been leading the Peruvian coffee industry in environmental activism with a program called “Restoring the Sacred.” They have planted over 300,000 native trees, earned Bird-Friendly certification, created an organic fertilizer refinery, trained farmers on ecological practices, and much more.
Their 2022 proposal requested $10,850 for expanding this program, with a focus on increasing farmers' capacity. By 2024, they plan to build an Ecological Training Center complete with solar panels, expand potable water systems, and get their coffee farms certified as “reforested plots” by Peru’s National Forest Service.
Read more about the history of Restoring the Sacred and other projects here!
One of our new partners, WSSS, is a charitable organization in the District of Wayanad, Kerala, India that works with smallholder organic & fair-trade farmers. They sent us a $5,000 proposal for an alternative income project in which they’ll distribute 700 Kesar mango seedlings to 150 farmers.
The Kesar mango variety has a good yield and is resistant to heavy rain & drought. Its rich taste and aroma makes it particularly good for value-added products such as dried mango for export. Since 99% of WSSS farmers are solely dependent on agriculture as their livelihood, sources of additional income are invaluable in improving their standards of living.
We look forward to many more years of working with WSSS!
We also look forward to our recently revamped relationship with COMSA. We have been working primarily on reforestation in Honduras with Grow Ahead (read more about it here!), but we recently met with one of COMSA’s new managers to fund a project proposal and plan a visit to their community this Spring!
COMSA is a company founded in Marcala, La Paz, Honduras in 2001 that belongs to 1,547 associates dedicated to small-farm coffee growing. Recently, COMSA has been reinvesting mainly in the COMSA International School (CIS).
CIS serves students of Marcala and its surrounding communities. COMSA is currently providing scholarships to 111 kids, a majority of whom are related to COMSA’s associates. Students learn sustainable development and humanistic and environmental values through a bilingual education. They can learn organic farming, recycling, and sustainable finance, among other themes, directly from many of COMSA’s nearby business operations.
Since 2016, COMSA has been improving its infrastructure, equipment and services, and recently has been investing in musical instruments, a well to provide fresh water to the school, and improvements to the electricity grid. The next project is a cafeteria where students can access healthy food as well as nutrition and cooking classes. COMSA will start a diagnostic process at CIS alongside teachers, staff, parents and students that will identify areas of improvement, with the goal of transforming CIS into an international educational institution with prestige.
CIS is funded by its coffee social premiums and another U.S. roaster, but they have recently opened the floor to receive extra help to expand the school and improve the quality of education. We jumped at this opportunity! We sent COMSA $5,000 in December directly for funding ongoing activities at CIS. We can’t wait to see the impact of our funding this Spring, and keep the ball rolling in 2022.
As Dean’s Beans continues our fight for social and environmental justice in 2022, we want to remind our customers that one impactful way to support activism around the globe is to vote with your dollars. So what about making one of your New Year's resolutions to drink more Dean's Beans?