Peruvian coffee, among the best of South America

Peruvian coffee, among the best of South America

Peruvian coffee is renowned for its quality and aroma; as such it occupies a special place on national and international markets.

In Peru, coffee might be a staple product, but it has further potential because it is grown on a variety of soil types and microclimates. And international palates sure appreciate Peruvian coffee. The Andean country has been developing a specialty coffee industry for several decades now in response to international demand. The industry is characterised by local efforts in fair trade and organic production.

In this context, coffee has become a source of employment for more than 2 million Peruvians and 223,738 families (MINAGRI, 2017). They cultivate 70% of the country's main traditional agricultural product.

Peruvian coffee: engine for development

Due to its international market ambitions, the coffee sector and its cooperatives have become key to agricultural and production policies. The cooperatives represent 32% of coffee exports (JNC, 2019); however, 80% of producers run their farms without technical management or business advice. This shows clearly that the sector needs to be professionalised.

In Peru, Rikolto promotes of the participation of agricultural producer organisations in the specialty coffee market, with inclusive businesses and sustainable practices that improve the quality of life of small producers and their families. Together with a network of allies, we bring the sector closer to a standard of professionalisation and improve its commercial and financial performance, generating better opportunities among the stakeholders in the value chain, as we contribute to its sustainability.

Learn more about our coffee program in Latin America!

Rikolto knows how to sow a future for coffee

  • We support the improvement of business and social performance of coffee producer organisations, as they continue to professionalise and incorporate young people and women into their businesses.
  • We contribute to a favourable environment that promotes inclusiveness and sustainability for their competitiveness in the agri-food sector.
  • We work with the private sector and show them the benefits of buying from professional and organised coffee cooperatives, not only when it comes to quality, but also so that they can be sure that their product is produced in a socially and climate-friendly way.

Who is with us in the intervention?

Our partners

  • National Coffee Board
  • La Prosperidad de Chirinos Cooperative
  • Aprocassi Cooperative
  • Pangoa Coffee Farming Cooperative

Allies during the intervention

  • Public organisations: Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Export and Tourism (PromPerú), National Institute of Quality (Inacal)
  • International cooperation: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Non-governmental organisations: Slow Food, Producers Direct, TRIAS, Central de Café y Cacao
  • Academic institutions: Latin American Centre for Rural Development - Rimisp (Rural Dialogue Group), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Universidad Nacional de Jaén (UNJ), McGill University (Canada)
  • Companies and associations: Cassiopeia Specialty Coffee Roasters, Northern Technical Network Cooperative

Where are our pilots located?

In addition to the impact of our work at a national level with decision makers and through national platforms, our pilots run in the province of Jaén, in Cajamarca and Satipo, in Junín.

Main numbers

  • Duration of the programme: 2017-2021
  • We work with 1,389 coffee producers in the partner cooperatives in the province of Cajamarca.
  • Indirectly, all 70,000 families members of the JNC in the whole of Peru benefit.
  • Leadership schools in Cajamarca have trained more than 200 representatives of coffee producers, facilitating their engagement in decision-making spaces.
  • Young people make up 64% of the professional staff in our partner coffee cooperatives, which is extremely important for the long-term sustainability of these businesses.
  • Coffee producers who are members of one of our partner cooperatives have seen their annual income increase by 20%.
  • Producers from organisations improved their cupping score (from 82 to 84 points on average) thanks to the technical assistance provided.
  • By adopting better agricultural practices, 315 cooperative producers improved their productivity even within a climate change context.
  • Annual productivity (producer/ha) increased by between 4.89% and 3.93%.
  • Partner coffee cooperatives increased their annual turnover by 40%, thanks to the extension of contracts or new business concluded for international markets.
  • Export volumes in cooperatives increased from 4,817.8 tonnes to 6,700 tonnes.

1. Inclusive and sustainable business for the acquisition of quality coffee

  • Professional organisations are the foundation of inclusive business. New capacities, acquired during the programme, attracted clients who now invest in business development and generate benefits for 1,389 coffee producers in the partner cooperatives. Young people in the business, the training of new leaders, the improvement of internal processes and new computer systems for decision making all contributed to the success.
  • New leaders in coffee cooperatives. More than 200 producers have participated in the Leadership Schools, becoming familiar with management skills, governance mechanisms, knowledge of trade logistics, and accounting and cooperative finance, as they help form future leaders for the business.
  • Young and professional women participate in the organisation. They make up 64% of the professional staff in the partner coffee cooperatives, putting the talent of the new generations to the test and ensuring an equitable future for the business.
  • Income for families because of the cupping quality. Up to 20% additional annual income is obtained by producers in the coffee cooperatives that have an agreement with Rikolto. Quality management was key to achieve this. The average quality in cup improved from 82 to 84 points thanks to the project's specialised technical assistance.
  • Ability to negotiate with financial institutions. Institutional capitalisation policies (i.e. the systematisation of experiences within the institutions), designed and facilitated by the project, allowed our partners to negotiate new agreements and reduced interest rates (from 11% to 9%) with financial entities.
  • Post-harvest innovation to improve productivity. Investment in post-harvest practices and infrastructure resulted in growth in productivity and sales per producer. Over the three-year period, annual productivity (producer/ha) rose from 0.37 to 0.48 kg in the case of the Aprocassi cooperative and from 0.39 to 0.47 kg in the case of the La Prosperidad de Chirinos cooperative. The producers of each cooperative then saw an increase in their sales of parchment coffee to the organisation from 2.65 to 3.67 tonnes per producer to the organisation. In Prosperidad it went up from 2.48 to 3.05 tonnes.
  • Growth in exports. In three years, Aprocassi and La Prosperidad de Chirinos increased their annual turnover by 40%, thanks to the extension of contracts or new business concluded for international markets. Their export volumes increased from 48,178 to 67,000 quintals.

2. Design of coffee landscapes

  • On the way to carbon-neutral coffee. We promoted the first national study of environmental footprint and carbon capture in organic coffee. Based on the Life Cycle Analysis methodology, results were obtained at the level of global warming potential, acidification and eutrophication. The study allowed the cooperatives to establish models of agroforestry systems and define clean production practices for coffee exports (with lower environmental footprint and higher carbon sequestration) preferably to European markets.
  • Dialogues based on experience. Dialogue tables at the multisectoral and local level (Cajamarca) around the implementation of Agroforestry Systems in Coffee (SAF).
  • Response to climate change. As part of the programme, 315 cooperative producers adopted better agricultural practices, improving their productivity even within a climate change context.
  • New lines of eco-friendly business. Coffee husk and honey production in partner cooperatives are led by women and young people, who contribute with their income to diversify the income of the cooperative and families in times of crisis.

La Prosperidad de Chirinos Coffee Farming Cooperative

La Prosperidad de Chirinos Coffee Farming Cooperative

This organisation has been working with its associates for more than five decades in the collection and commercialisation of high-quality coffee (85 points) directed to the local and international market. It provides its more than 700 coffee industry members with social and microfinance services, thus playing a key role in developing the local economy. The facilities of "La Prosperidad" are located in the district of Chirinos (Cajamarca) and its members are in the areas of La Coipa, Huarango and Tabaconas. In 2016, Sustainable Harvest awarded this cooperative a prize for good practices in professionalism and quality. They participated in the first environmental footprint study on organic coffee, that was sponsored by Rikolto. They are currently working together to professionalise the organisation.

Multi-Service Cooperative Aprocassi

Multi-Service Cooperative Aprocassi

For two decades now, this organisation has been collecting and marketing high quality coffee, improving the income and quality of life of its more than 500 members and coffee-growing families in harmony with the environment, with gender equity and cooperative principles. It offers services of pre- and post-harvest credits, rehabilitation credits, renovation and payment through the Savings and Credit Cooperative, APROCREDI, to ensure productivity and joint commercialisation of specialty coffee. In 2019, Aprocassi became a partner in the first pilot blockchain coffee initiative in Peru. Together with Rikolto they implement Agroforestry Systems and the continuous professionalisation of the organization.

Pangoa Coffee Agrarian Cooperative

Pangoa Coffee Agrarian Cooperative

The Pangoa Agricultural Coffee Cooperative is an organisation of coffee and cocoa producers located in the district of Pangoa, province of Satipo, which belongs to the department of Junín, and is located in the Selva Central area of Peru. It was founded in 1977 by a group of 50 pioneering farmers with the aim of improving their socio-economic conditions through direct marketing of their products. Currently, its main export products are coffee and cocoa, which are produced by the 680 members (545 men and 135 women) in the Pangoa Valley. In 2019, the work of the cooperative was recognised during the Sustainability Awards given by the Specialty Coffee Association. The cooperative’s main crop is coffee, but its members also produce cocoa. As such, Rikolto and the cooperative also collaborate in initiatives linked to organic cocoa and the professionalisation of young talents

National Coffee Board (JNC)

National Coffee Board (JNC)

The National Coffee Board (JNC) is an institution that brings together and represents Peruvian coffee producers at the government level. The main objective of this national guild is to contribute to the growth process of the coffee sector in the national and international markets, with high-quality coffee. They are committed to the economic and social development of the country.

Belgian Directorate General for Development

Mariela Wismann
Mariela Wismann
Directora de Programa Café | Perú