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ATJ Coffee
ATJ Coffee
Profiles of Production Areas
From Producers Abroad to Consumers in Japan
Brief History of ATJ Coffee
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ATJ coffee beans are produced, processed and shipped by local growers' cooperatives. ATJ staff members often visit the growers to strengthen "face-to-face" relationships.
 


Peru

ペルー地図Production area : Quixabanba and neighboring areas in Cuzco Province, 1500-1800 meters above sea level.
Growers: COCLA(Coffee Producers Farming Cooperative)
COCLA is a federation of 21 coffee producers' cooperatives with 7500 members, who produce more than 7000 tons of coffee beans per year. Since the 1990s, COCLA has focused on organic cultivation of coffee and some producers have obtained JAS certification. COCLA also deals with the export of organic coffee.
Connections with ATJ : Tying up with TWIN, a pioneer, fair trade organization in Europe, ATJ started to import coffee from COCLA in 1996. In 1999, a special gourmet coffee called "Montana Veronica" was developed. Since 1997, ATJ groups have visited the producing areas four times.


Mexico

メキシコ地図Production area : San Fernando and the neighboring areas in Chiapas Province, located 1000-1500 meters above sea level. The coffee trees are planted on the steep slopes of the mountains.
Growers : Union de Ejidos San Fernando (San Fernando Producers Cooperative)
A federation of coffee producers' cooperatives, San Fernando is composed of 32 communities with 1100 members. The cooperative is committed to both conservation and better quality coffee. Fair trade is an incentive for producers to undertake composting and earthworm-growing projects. Young plants are managed by the cooperative and distributed to growers at discount prices. Trees to shade the coffee trees are being planted. Some growers have obtained JAS certification.
San Fernando Cooperative also has its own cafe to encourage people to drink domestic coffee. Together with other coffee producers' cooperatives, San Fernando has established a coffee museum, which exhibits the history of Mexican coffee. An organic farming demo farm for cooperative members will be set up in the near future.
Connections with ATJ : As in the case of Peru coffee, ATJ tied up with Twin, a fair trade organization in England, and started to import Mexican coffee in 1997.


Tanzania

タンザニア地図Production area : Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro Mountain.
Growers : KNCU (Kilimanjaro Indigenous Producers Cooperative)
KNCU is affiliated with 93 unit cooperatives with a total membership of 90,000. At present, the cooperative is studying the feasibility of conversion to organic culture. There are plans to set up an organic farming demo farm.
Connections with ATJ : As with Peru and Mexico, a tie-up with TWIN helped to start the import of coffee from KNCU in 1996.


Haiti

ハイチ地図Production Area : The northeast region of Haiti, 600-900 meters above sea level.
Growers : RECOCARNO
The cooperative is composed of 8 units with a total of 4500 members. An organic culture program is being implemented in some areas . Aside from improvement of coffee cultivation, various other programs, such as women's committees and literacy groups, are being conducted.
Connections with ATJ : As part of Fairtrade Coffee (Coffee Produced and Processed Together), TWIN facilitated the launching of ATJ's Haitian coffee trade in 2001. No other coffee is imported directly from Haitian producers to Japan. Despite political unrest in Haiti, the amount of coffee imported has been steadily increasing.


Ecuador

エクアドル地図Production Area : Manabi Province in Ecuador, 700-800 meters above sea level.
Growers : 80 local coffee farmers contracted with Ecuador Kabe Coffee Company, a subsidiary of a state-owned company of Cuba. They have obtained organic JAS Certificate.
Connections with ATJ : ATJ started to import Naturaleza, an organic and tasty coffee, in 1993, aiming to address the South-North problem and to break open the tightly closed coffee market industry in Japan. ATJ groups visited the area in 1993 and 1999. Staff members of Kabe Coffee-Ecuador visit Japan every year.


East Timor

東ティモール地図Production Area : Maubessi District, Ainaro Province, East Timor, 1000-1400 meters above sea level.
Growers : Federation of New Maubessi Producers Cooperatives (Preparatory Committee).
Around 200 growers in five villages have organized themselves.
Connections with ATJ : When ATJ was studying the feasibility of trading coffee produced in Asia, we learned that for East Timor, the latest newly independent country, coffee is the most important product for export. A project to support East Timor coffee growers that includes cultivation, processing and storing then started up in cooperation with Asia-Pacific Resource Center (PARC).



Laos
Production Area : Katat and Ben villages in Pakson District located in the Borapen Highlands in the southern part of Laos.
Growers : Since 2001, Laotian government agencies such as Test Center and Department of Agriculture, together with Oxfam, an international NGO, have been giving training in coffee production - from cultivation to processing - to 59 farmers (as of December, 2005).
Connections with ATJ : While farmers who have completed training are now able to produce high quality Arabian coffee, it has been difficult to find a market, as they do not have organic or fair trade certification. Learning that ATJ had started a coffee project in East Timor, Oxfam asked us about the possibility of purchasing coffee from Laos. ATJ then conducted several field surveys and started importing coffee from Laos in 2005.
For growers in Laos, this was the first experience of exporting raw beans under direct contract with a foreign organization. ATJ guarantees a long-term purchase contract and supports growers' plans to build a storehouse and center.


(*)Oxfam: Since its establishment in England in 1942, Oxfam's mission has been shared with people in many parts of the world. At present, the NGO is engaged in emergency assistance or development work in more than 100 countries. The coffee growers in Laos are supported by Oxfam-Australia.
 
   
   
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