NICARAGUAN FAIRTRADE PRODUCER SPEAKER TOUR
NSC News | Thursday, 16 January 2020 |
FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 24 February – 8 March
Fairtrade coffee producer Gloria Talavera González will be visiting London 20 - 22 February as a guest of the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign and Bristol and Bath 22 February – 9 March as a guest of Bristol Link with Nicaragua, Bath University, and Bristol and South Glos Fairtrade Networks.
Gloria is a 44 year old Fairtrade coffee producer from the Julio Hernández cooperative in northern Nicaragua where she is co-ordinator of the groups responsible for gender and security. She lives with her husband and three children two of whom are also actively involved in the co-operative.
The co-operative is part of the Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (UCA) Soppexcca which has 700 members producing Fairtrade coffee for export and organic cacao, fruit and vegetables for local consumption.
Gloria started working at the age of 12 as there were few opportunities for studying in a period of war. Also she had seven brothers and sisters, and her father’s salary was not sufficient to support the family.
In 1998 her husband bought two hectares of land in payment for work; this land was registered in Gloria’s name including the house where the family now lives.
Because of the difficulties faced by small scale farmers working alone, Gloria decided to work with organised groups.
Gloria explains the importance of working co-operatively, environmental protection, diversifying crops in the face of social instability and climate change, and the benefits of Fairtrade for the whole community.
‘’Working together in a co-operative is a great opportunity because we sell our coffee at a fair price, we do constant training in different areas, and not only do I participate as a member myself, but I am also able to involve my family.
The fact that the land is owned and worked by women opens up many opportunities. We are always looking at ways of diversifying so as not to depend on a single crop; I have diversified into cacao, citrus and other crops, which also gives a more pleasant flavour to our coffee, contributing to higher quality.
It also gives us an opportunity to grow vegetables: the financing we receive has enabled us to install an irrigation system and buy seeds. As well as providing fresh produce for our own consumption we have set up a market stall in Jinotega, the nearest town, where we women can sell fresh, organic produce.
The fact that our co-operative is Fairtrade certified has been a great help, since we know the price of our coffee. The benefits are not only for the members of the co-operatives but also for the whole community. The results are very clear: our community now has electric power, roads and drinking water.
Within the cooperative we also have responsibilities as men and women members. We must comply with the requirement that we permanently maintain a plan for the protection of the environment, planting trees on river banks and keeping our productive areas clean.
Our bushes have often suffered problems due to diseases affecting coffee caused by climate change.
We have also suffered the repercussions of socio-political problems: these problems have caused the projects that finance and support our co-operative to withdraw.
The greatest things that have happened to me are to have a united family and to have received my land, to enable us to work and progress.’’
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For information about Fairtrade Fortnight 24 February – 8 March