Since it was created in 2001, the Divisoria coffee producers’ cooperative has expanded its activities. Since 2007, this Peruvian partner has offered fair-trade and organic cocoa and in 2008 it launched organic fertilisers that are enjoying huge success.
When it was launched in 2001, the Divisoria cooperative in Tingo Maria, Peru, worked only in coffee. In 2005, the cooperative obtained the ‘FLO’ label and in 2007 the products were granted organic certification. That same year, Divisoria diversified into cocoa and since 2008, it has also offered organic fertilisers.
Focus on quality
One of the special features of Divisoria is its focus on quality. The cooperative in fact relies on very high quality products. A winning strategy, because the cooperative manages to cope with the competition and has also succeeded in minimising the damage caused by rust, a fungus that destroyed a great many coffee harvests in Latin America in 2013.
First Alterfin credit
Alterfin first entered into a relationship with the cooperative in 2010, granting it its first loan of USD 200,000. The relationship strengthened as of 2012. That was when Alterfin granted the cooperative a medium-term credit facility (three years) to underpin Divisoria’s investments in infrastructure and equipment. Divisoria wanted to improve its warehouses and also build a fertiliser plant.
Organic fertilisers are booming
With a view to fulfilling very stringent quality criteria, Divisoria developed certified organic fertilisers. After eight years of preparation, the fertilisers were placed on the market and proved an immediate success. The very high demand came from members of the cooperative, but also from private individuals and the Peruvian government. The fertilisers are currently sold four months in advance.
A coffee producer tells us
“Thanks to the fertilisers, my coffee held out against the rust shock”, says Luis Rodriguez, a producer in the cooperative. “The rust had a devastating effect and many producers lost much if not all of their harvest! We are taught to take care of the land and of our plantations by using green products. What’s more, as a member of Divisoria, I receive very good prices for my coffee and cocoa beans. I can live with dignity during the difficult harvest months.”
New Alterfin financing
Calvert Foundation also wished to support the Peruvian cooperative by making an initial investment in 2013. Thank to Divisoria’s excellent financial health, in 2014 it was granted two new loans by Alterfin and Calvert Foundation, one for the working capital to market coffee and cocoa and the second to expand their fertiliser project.
Divisoria is not resting on its laurels. The cooperative recently opened a cafeteria in Tingo Maria and already has plans to open to others by the end of 2015. This way, the whole local population can enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.