There was no shortage of great food and drink at this year’s Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference in Boise, Idaho. Participants enjoyed local and organic dishes, snacks and beverages provided by co-host Boise Consumer Co-op and bronze sponsor Organic Valley, tea tastings from expo village sponsor Frontier Food Co-op, tea and chocolate samples from expo village sponsor Equal Exchange, and coffee tastings from expo village sponsor Pachamama Coffee Cooperative.
Pachamama’s coffee tastings were a special feature and huge hit at CCMA this year, thanks to the barista—Pachamama’s Director of Outreach Mollie Moisan—and the impressive quality of Pachamama’s premium organic coffee. Hundreds of CCMA attendees sampled Pachamama’s Guatemalan, Ethiopian and multi-origin coffees. In addition, the cooperative’s unique business model is something every conscientious consumer can get behind.
Pachamama is the only 100 percent farmer-owned and governed coffee cooperative in the U.S. The cooperative is owned by five cooperatives in five countries: COCLA in Peru, PRODECOOP in Nicaragua, Manos Campesinas in Guatemala, La Union Regional in Mexico, and Oromia in Ethiopia. Together, Pachamama is owned by more than 100,000 family farmers. One hundred percent of profits go back to these farmer-owners, and, in 2014, they received $10 for every pound of coffee sold. That’s five times more than the Fair Trade price.
At Pachamama, even the board of directors is made up entirely of farmers. The board is composed of five farmers, one from each of the member cooperatives. During her village presentation at CCMA, Moisan explained that her full-time position with the co-op was a decision made by the board, making her work even more meaningful.
With support from NCBA CLUSA through its U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Cooperative Development Program, Pachamama recently purchased a roaster for its retail location in Sacramento, California. By roasting coffee on site, Pachamama has become a completely vertically integrated business.
“The co-op model is something I can believe in every day,” Moisan said during her presentation.
For more information on Pachamama or to order some of their organic, Fair Trade coffee, visit www.pacha.coop or www.coffeecsa.org. If you live near Davis, California, stop by Pachamama’s coffee bar at 521 First Street.