FECCEG is a federation of 8 smallholder farmer cooperatives, comprised of roughly 2,100 small-scale farmers. Since its inception, FECCEG has supported farmers in diversifying their crop production, nearly doubling their net income, while contributing to an increased sense of community and togetherness. Importantly, the Federation also guarantees farmers a wage that fairly matches their efforts. In the coffee world this is an anomaly, as many hardworking farmers are paid well below market value for their crop.
Kishé takes pride in the fact that FECCEG is indeed unique, and shares its goal of creating an Alternative Distribution Model. But FECCEG is noteworthy for other reasons as well:
- It was an idea conceived and organized by our farmer-partners themselves, and not something brought into the community by outside interests.
- The Federation is democratic in nature, and all of our partner collectives are represented by elected leaders.
- It provides trainings and workshops to farmers, covering topics such as Organic and Fair Trade Certification, environmental stewardship and leadership development.
- The Federation promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality by supporting a “Women’s Commission” attended by representatives from 10 collectives.
- FECCEG develops social betterment projects for its participating communities. Examples include: trainings, agricultural technical assistance, school libraries, organic gardens; micro-loans for small business development; and a field school to teach organic farming techniques.