In Nicaragua, Prodecoop is a second-level cooperative that represents more than 2,300 families today, at least 27% of which are women. A model producer cooperative, Prodecoop is a leader in fairtrade, sustainability and gender equity initiatives in specialty coffee. Established in 1993, the co-founder and leader of Prodecoop, Ms. Merling Preza, serves as Pachamama’s president and chair of the board of directors.
Headquarters: Estelí, Nicaragua
Region: Estelí, Madriz, Nueva Segovia
Farmer Owners: 2,100 families
Women Owners: 27%
Harvest: December - March
Certifications: Organic, FLO Cert., UTZ
programas de prodecoop
Que Rico es Leer con Café
Cooperatives take a community focused approach to economic organization. With increased returns on their coffee, producers are able to lift the community and invest in programs for everyone. Prodecoop sponsors many educational resources for children of members including "It is delicious to Read with Coffee" Program, a scholarship program for students to attend university and implementation of schools.
“We think of the families that live in coffee”
In partnership with local universities and domestic NGO’s, Prodecoop works on water and sanitation initiatives, food security and nutrition education, and a literacy programs. It is one of Prodecoop’s goals to serve as an example in the coffee industry of how to effectively empower female members and improve the quality of life of coffee producers.
"This is empowerment. It makes a woman independent as she is able to provide for her family." Alexa Marin is the Gender Commission Coordinator at Prodecoop. She discusses her role at the cooperative to support and foster the success of gender equity initiatives, such as health clinics, educational workshops and finance programs for women.
"Its not about paying more, its about paying what its worth.
"Climate change is affecting us more. We once produced coffee in a much better environment, with stable rains, under the right conditions, and now we face challenges with coffee leaf rust, with uncertainty around rain, or with what we can or can’t use."
Read more of the conversation President Merling Preza and SCA Sustainability Officer Kim Elena have on stage at the 2019 Re:co Symposium
Beyond the Label
The Nicaraguan National Bird is the Barranquero "from the valley" or Guardabarranco "keeper of the valley". Our Board President, Merling Preza shared that the Barranquero is one who comes to sing in her garden and it is a bird that people in the fields interact with on a daily basis.