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Federacion Campesina del Cauca

Cauca, Colombia

Meet FCC

In 1971, a group of idealistic coffee farmers started a coffee-producing organization with a clear purpose. They would help smallholder producers, providing them with agronomy training to improve the quality of their coffee. They would protect these farmers’ rights to own their land during what would become a tumultuous time in Colombia. And through these efforts, they would develop these farmers into young leaders in the community.

That producing organization was Federación Campesina del Cauca. Better known as FCC, the cooperative is located in the rolling hills of southwestern Colombia’s Cauca Department. What started as a small group of farmers has now grown into a membership of 683 smallholder producers, 29 percent of which are women farmers. The co-op has been fair trade certified since 2003, and under the leadership of general manager Don Herney Chaguendo, began the Specialty Coffee Program, which has helped the co-op improve its quality and in turn quickly establish itself as an important player in the global specialty-coffee market.

FCC has continued its success with the construction of a composting plant, Agroempresa FCC, which was completed in 2014. The plant produces liquid fertilizers and organic compost that have helped FCC’s growers improve their production. What’s more, the plant’s organic compost production is enabling a transition for FCC’s membership: The cooperative estimates that 60 percent of its members will produce organic coffee by 2020.

With its desire to continue innovating and growing as an organization, FCC has grown from a small group to a pillar of its community producing amazing coffee to share with the world.