"We want members to feel supported," - Asociación Proyecto Aldea Global’s general manager, Warren E. Armstrong.
Quality fair trade coffee and a social mission
The mountainous Jinotega region of northern Nicaragua is famous for producing 60% of the nation’s coffee. Aldea Global can take some of the credit for putting the region on the coffee community map. In 2002, two small farmers from Aldea Global won Nicaragua’s first Cup of Excellence award, which has contributed to Nicaraguan coffee’s quality reputation. Founded in 1992 with just 22 producers, Asociación Aldea Global now reaches more than 4,000 farmers and producers and has a large international and national export market.
Farmers join Aldea for many reasons, but especially the support offered to their families and community. Members benefit from many programs, such as financial training, community building, education financing, microloans, technical assistance, value-added commercialization services, and gender equality projects. Aldea Global’s commitment to quality organic, fair trade coffee and community development is recognized internationally, which prompted their participation in the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Sustainability Council.
Aldea Global and gender equity
Gender equity is a core value and institutional policy of the association. Aldea Global’s by-laws state that the general assembly must consist of at least 40% women. In addition, Aldea Global provides training for income-producing women’s enterprises and assists with the legalization process of land ownership for women. Aldea Global’s general manager, Warren E. Armstrong, says, “In Nicaragua, around 85% of land titles are in the names of men, so Aldea Global provides funds to assist women in legalizing property in their own name or jointly with their partner. Our institutional gender equity policies make our business model more sustainable. “
Keeping profits in farmers’ hands
Aldea Global was one of Oikocredit’s partners selected to participate in Oikocredit’s Price Risk Management (PRM) program. After an incursion from a local government agency caused Nicaraguan coffee prices to rise the cooperative saw first-hand that working with coffee futures would help them retain their profits. By implementing PRM strategies in everyday tasks, cooperative members saw an increase in payment. “For me, PRM is an essential way of safekeeping your earnings and profit as a coffee organization. In coffee, there are thousands of ways that you can lose your money. You can lose your money during the collection, at the dry-mill, or even through a credit agreement. So, safekeeping your profits is a multifaceted endeavor; having in place a good PRM strategy is one of the most important of them,” explains Armstrong.
A model partner
Aldea Global has been a partner of Oikocredit since 2007 and is recognized for its positive social outreach, scoring 91/100 in Oikocredit’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) scorecard evaluation. Aldea Global is a prime example of the way environmental, social, and gender equity policies can catalyze strong economic growth at the farm level.