Fairtrade Access fund provides first loan to Honduras coffee co-operative

Fairtrade International (FLO) announced on 6 February that its recently-launched Access Fund has provided its first loan to a coffee farmer cooperative in Honduras.  The new fund, run by FLO, Incofin Investment Management and Grameen Foundation, offers a range of loans and technical assistance to Fairtrade certified farmers’ organisations, FLO said in a statement. Cooperativa De Productores De Café “Encarnación” Limitada (COPROCAEL) in Honduras received a trade finance loan of US$570,000 to purchase the coffee of its 170 member farmers during the harvest season. The coffee will later be exported to American and European markets. COPROCAEL is a leading coffee cooperatives in the western region of Honduras, accounting for 6.5 per cent of local production. The FLO said that the cooperative has high productivity thanks to new coffee plants and agricultural practices, integrated crop management, quality controls and farm improvements by its members. Its Fairtrade Premium projects include a quality laboratory, plant, warehouses and equipment. COPROCAEL was established in 2000 and received Fairtrade certification in 2008. In June 2012 the cooperative produced 3620 tons of coffee. COPROCAEL is a member of the Small Producers Organizations in Latin America and The Caribbean (CLAC). The FLO said that the Fairtrade Access Fund, announced in April, is fully operational and open to investment opportunities. The fund offers loans and technical assistance to Fairtrade organisations in Latin America, and the FLO stated it will expand to other regions in the future.

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