Km. 44.5 Carretera Fortin-Conejos
Contact: Josafat Leopoldo Hernandez Gonzlaes, General Manager
Unión Regional de Huatusco (Huatusco) is a registered "Fairtrade" organization and one of Mexico's leading worker-owned cooperatives with 1,988 active members who farm in Veracruz, Mexico. Members cultivate coffee on 19,715 acres of land, of which 2,829 acres are dedicated to organic or in-transition to organic coffee.
- Milling Operations: Huatusco currently owns and operates two different coffee mills. Beneficio
"Profesor Manual Sedas Rincon" is a sophisticated processing plant that takes coffee from cherry to
parchment to green beans (unroasted coffee ready for export). In addition, a second and smaller
milling facility, called Beneficio "Solidaridad Cafetalera", processes coffee in much the same
manner as traditional mills, while offering a number of ecological advantages.
regulation and industry leadership: Huatusco helps set coffee prices in the farming communities
around Huatusco to force middlemen to pay a fair price to producers who are not organized. At the
regional level, Huatusco's large size allows it to play an important role in regulating the
- Community Service: Over the past decade, Huatusco has supported the construction of
village-based classrooms, microregional health centers, and day care centers. With support from
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) and Coffee Kids, a US-based NGO, the co-op has been
instrumental in launching 30 rural credit unions through which farmers gain access to savings and
credit services. Huatusco is currently involved in a joint project with US-based Mayo Clinic and
GMCR to provide early detection of uterine cancer to women in the region of Huatusco,
Huatusco has customers on both sides of the coffee business. Huatusco purchases coffee from producer cooperatives. These cooperatives are comprised of a total of 1,988 members, of which 496 are women. Once the coffee is processed at the Huatusco plant, they export the coffee to their principal foreign markets in the United States and Europe. In recent years, Huatusco has become the single biggest supplier of fair-trade and shade-grown coffee to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), a leading socially responsible coffee roaster based in Waterbury, Vermont.
- Over the past decade, Huatusco's membership has grown from less than 500 farms in 1990 to
nearly 2,000 active members. As of August 31st 2008, Huatusco had $4.7M in assets and generated
$5M in total revenues. Increased revenue from Fair Trade coffee sales has enabled the co-op to
establish education facilities in rural areas, build regional healthcare centers, fund a
reforestation program, improve and expand its organic program, finance community development
projects, and reduce migration to urban areas.
- As of October 2008 the coop has facilitated
the renewal of a total of 250,000 coffee trees. Water usage and contamination in wet mills were
reduced by 90-95% due to the implementation of water efficient wet mills. In addition, Huatusco's
compost production program is providing its members with affordable, high-quality organic
fertilizer in order to boost coffee productivity.