A young cooperative, Union y Fe was founded in 2014 in the well-established growing region of San Ignacio, Cajamarca. The cooperative has 250 producers who farm a total of 873 hectares of certified coffee. 650 of these hectares are Fair Trade + Organic and cultivated under the shade of fruit and forest trees. It's through this shade-grown method that Union y Fe are able to preserve the natural environment and uphold with organic production standards.
Although just a few years old, Union y Fe has a strong mission and vision for what they want to accomplish as a producer organization. As a group, they strive to generate wellbeing for both their member families and the environment through coffee production. One of the key ways they accomplish this is through the technical assistance they provide to their members. Expert agronomists train members in agronomic best practices, pest control, soil analysis, fertilization, certification compliance, harvesting, and post-harvest processing. They also help members maintain food security by showing them how to raise small animals and maintain vegetable gardens.
Longer term, Union y Fe's vision is to become a leader in Peruvian coffee production, and this is where their commitment to quality comes into play. Armed with learnings from their agronomic team, Union y Fe producers hand pick only the ripest cherries, and immediately de-pulp and ferment them for 15-30 hours. They are then dried individually by producers on covered raised beds for 10-18 days, until the coffee reaches optimal humidity in the 10.5-12% range. It is then delivered by each individual producer to Union y Fe's warehouse, which has been carefully designed to preserve quality until the coffee can be transported to the regional dry mill and exported.