Coocafé (Cooperative of Coffee Growers in the Lajinha Region) was founded in 1979 in the city of Lajinha in the state of Minas Gerais (MG), aimed at strengthening the coffee producers in the region and allowing them to have better results. Thanks to the cooperative spirit of its members, even when faced with difficulties and the economic crises Brazil has suffered, its history is filled with challenges and achievements while maintaining Coocafé’s consistency and determination.
To provide its members with more competitive conditions, in 1988, Coocafé created the Credit Cooperative of Eastern Minas Ltd. (Sicoob Credicaf), which offers direct financial assistance to its members. With this, it became possible to encourage the socioeconomic development of the members in such a way that the revenues that were made in the cities of the operational area could be put to use for developing the region itself.
Because of concerns about the future and school dropout rates, because children were looking for quality schools in distant cities, Coocafé also founded, in 1998, the Cultural and Educational Cooperative for the Lajinha Region Ltd. (Coopcel). This is an educational cooperative set up by parents and teachers, aimed at developing quality education for young people, encouraging a culture of cooperation and promoting the cultural development of the region.
Today, Coocafé is a structured organization, with 300 employees and approximately 6,500 members; of these, 95% are micro and small producers who depend on family farming.
Members have access to expert assistance for their properties and receive visits from Coocafé’s trainers. They can also count on important benefits, security in selling their coffee and 7 farm supply stores.
Coocafé operates directly in over 40 municipalities that basically live from this culture, producing about 1 million bags of coffee per year.
The cooperative recognizes that is has an important place in society and it carries out and supports numerous environmental initiatives. Coocafé is fully aware of its responsibility and is increasingly committed to sustainable development.