Coffee co-operatives play an important role in the economy of Peru. In 2015 they exported coffee worth USD $98m, which represents 23% of the country’s total coffee exports for the first 10 months of the year.
Figures released by the National Coffee Board (Junta Nacional del Cáfe) at the end of 2015 revealed that 56 coffee co-operatives exported a total of (516,000 quintals) 23,736 tonnes, equivalent of 21% of Peru’s coffee production.
Overall, 132 Peruvian enterprises have exported coffee between January and October 2015, 42% of which are members of the National Coffee Board. Their products were shipped to European, Asian and American markets. Centrocafe, a co-operative made up of 1,900 families of coffee farmers, is among the country’s largest exporters. The co-operative came fifth in the list of the largest coffee exporters in Peru, with 100,000 quintals (4,600 tonnes) exported in the first 10 months of 2015.
Speaking at the ninth national meeting of Women Coffee Farmers, Tomás Córdova, president of the National Coffee Board, said: “International coffee buyers seek to buy directly from co-operatives because we have showed them we can maintain both quality and quantity, even more than any other enterprise.”
The figures also show the considerable contribution of women coffee farmers, who in the first 10 months of 2015 produced more than 914 tonnes of coffee worth USD $4m. Lucila Quintana, president of the national association of women coffee farmers (CONAMUC), told the meeting that co-operatives were empowering women and helping to promote women’s committees.
But overall, coffee exports have decreased for Peru in 2015. At the end of last year, the country had exported 3.710m quintals (170,660 tonnes) of coffee totalling USD $570m, the lowest in 10 years and 22% less than in 2014.
This fall was determined by rust diseases as well as lower coffee prices at global level. Coffee production in Peru is expected to increase by 10% this year but Mr Córdova warns that an increase in coffee production across the world could worsen the situation for Peruvian farmers.