How Co-ops Spur Organic Farming in the Global South

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Rodney North, Equal Exchange spokesperson for 15 years and former Board Director presents on how co-ops spur organic farming in the global south. In many places around the world, farming organically requires a collective effort. Equal Exchange (a worker co-op) works directly with 55 co-ops of organic farmers in 23 countries. This covers how the co-operative business model, both in the US and abroad, makes organic farming both feasible and attractive.

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How Co-ops Spur Organic Farming in the Global South

  1. 1. How Co-ops Spur Organic Farming in the Global South NOFA Summer Conference 2014 Rodney North worker-owner www.EqualExchange.coop
  2. 2. •  !cellphones! •  !evalua-ons! •  !literature!
  3. 3. •  !WARNING:!Not!an!expert!! •  Who!here!is/has!been:! •  An!organic!farmer?! •  Gone!through!cer-fica-on?! •  Member!of!a!farmer!coBop?! •  Member!of!a!food!coBop?! •  Worked!with!small!farmers!in!the!Majority! World?! •  …with!organic!farmers!in!the!….?! •  With!farmer!coBops!in!the!…?! PLEASE!DIVE!IN!/!SPEAK!UP!
  4. 4. •  !Why!does!this!maRer?! •  !Why!does!this!maRer!to!you?! •  !Why!do!YOU!maRer!to!it?!
  5. 5. PRODECOOP,!Nicaragua! Las!Colinas,!El!Salvador!
  6. 6. What%makes%a%co,opera/ve?% •  Voluntary!&!Open!Membership! •  Democra-c!Member!Control! •  Member!Economic!Par-cipa-on! •  Autonomy!&!Independence! •  Educa-on,!Training,!&!Informa-on! •  CoBopera-on!Among!CoBopera-ves! •  Concern!for!Community!
  7. 7. →% What’s!the!role!of!co,opera/ves,!from!the!organic!farm!to!the!cup?!
  8. 8. What!does!it!take!to!farm!successfully?! ! !
  9. 9. What!does!it!take!to!farm!successfully?! ! (a!very!rough,!incomplete!summa5on)! Seasonal%work%(for!coffee!farmers)! ! Select!crops/varietals!! !prepare!soil/orchards! ! !fer-lize!! ! ! !weed!! ! ! ! !harvest!! ! ! ! ! !gather/sort!harvest!! ! ! ! ! ! !wet!processing! dry!coffee! !collect,!usually!with!vehicles!! ! !warehouse!! ! ! !more!milling/maybe!drying/more!sor-ng!! ! ! ! !quality!control!work! ! ! ! ! !export!sales!work!! ! ! ! ! ! !arranging!transporta-on! follow!through!on!contracts/dealing!w/postBdelivery!problems!
  10. 10. What!does!it!take!to!farm!successfully?! ! (a!very!rough,!incomplete!summa5on)! +%Year,round%work%% ! Sales/!finding!customers!! ! marke-ng!&!promo-on! ! securing!credit!!
  11. 11. What!does!it!take!to!farm!successfully?! ! ! Seasonal%work%(for!coffee!farmers)! ! Select!organic!crops/varietals!! !organically!prepare!soil/orchards! ! !fer-lize!w/organic!inputs! ! ! !weed!without!pes-cides! ! ! ! !harvest!separately! ! ! ! ! !gather/sort!harvest!&!segregate! ! ! ! ! ! !wet!processing!separately! dry!coffee!separately! !collect,!usually!with!vehicles!separately! ! !warehouse!separately! ! ! !more!milling/maybe!drying/more!sor-ng!separately! ! ! ! !quality!control!work!separately! ! ! ! ! !export!sales!work!separately! ! ! ! ! ! !arranging!transporta-on!separately! follow!through!on!contracts/dealing!w/postBdelivery!problems!separately! !!organically! ! !!!!!!!!!!!˄%
  12. 12. Farmer!income:!$2,000/yr! ! cer-fica-on!cost:!$500/yr!!!(25%!of!income)!
  13. 13. Total!San!Fernando!co,op!farmer!income:!! $2,000/yr%x%400%=%$800,000! ! Group!cer-fica-on!cost:!$4,900/yr!!!!(<1%!of!income)!

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