Productor / UCIRI

UCIRI (Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Región del Istmo), is an organisation formed by farmers from indigenous communities such as the Zapotecos, Mixes, Mixtecos and Chontales, which cultivate coffee within the framework of fair trade.

This organisation is the pacific answer from small indigenous farmers to exploitation and extinction. At the beginning of the 80s, farmers from the Tehuantepec region got organised to face the problem of commercial intermediaries. Organised in a mafia-like structure, they controlled both the transport and the commercialisation of the products of that area. Because of that, in 1984 farmers from 17 different communities founded UCIRI and started to commercialise their own coffee. Later on, thanks to loans awarded by the Universal Bank for Development could buy vans and buses to transport the goods themselves

Challenging the local mafia that way had its consequences. UCIRI leaders, drivers and passengers were shot, some loads were burnt, vans attacked, etc. Despite this, UCIRI managed to grow into a large community that allowed several associations to commercialise an ecological coffee at fair prices. Today, 4,000 families from more than 60 villages belong to UCIRI. They are organised in 49 communities with 2,780 active members, all of which are small coffee producers.

With the profits derived from fair trade, UCIRI promotes projects like healthcare centres, community shops, bus routes and educational centres. Respecting the ancient tradition of respect to Mother Earth and in the respect of the Christian Genesis, this association does not use any chemical fertilizers and only uses organic compost, stomps, plant pulse, prune plants and shadow trees. They only sell organic coffee, which has been duly inspected and certified, to countries from the European Union, United States and Japan

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This English translation has been possible thanks to the project: Free translation of websites for NGOs and non-profit-making organizations. A project managed by Mondo Services. Translator: Rosisein Kelly