Norandino | Equal Exchange
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Co-op Name: Cooperativa Agraria Norandino Ltda
Location: Piura, Peru
Number of producers: 4676 total members of which 3060 are coffee growers. The other 1600 produce sugarcane or cacao.
Founded: 1995
Certified: Organic, Fair Trade, SPP
Varietals: Tipica, Caturra, Catimor
Altitude: 1200-2000 meters above sea level
Interesting Fact: As part of the the USAID cooperative Development Program (CDP) project, we embarked on a long and interesting journey to certify the coffee laboratory at Norandino coffee co-op in Piura, Peru, as an education and training space. The laboratory is part of the processing plant for Norandino, which processes coffee for eight different co-ops in northern Peru and is part of the overall CDP project. The objective to certifying the lab by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) is to provide the member co-ops and greater coffee community with a place in which to hold certified classes from the SCA and the prestigious Q training and exam from the Coffee Quality Institute. The Norandino laboratory was officially certified in September as an SCA Campus - a four-year certification - with a two-year check point to ensure that the lab is still in compliance.

Being a certified Campus means that the lab can offer various classes. Norandino is the first small farmer owned coffee co-op to have a certified lab in all of Peru and at the time of this report, it is believed that it is the only one of its kind in all of South America. It is a great accomplishment and it took a lot of time, energy and coffee expertise to have achieved this status. Equal Exchange Coffee Quality Manager Beth Ann Caspersen worked closely with Juan Rodolfo Cruz Garcia, the Norandino coffee quality manager, to ensure that the specifications for inspection were met and to source and import the necessary equipment for a certified Campus lab. Norandino hopes that this lab will provide a space to train children of cooperative members to become highly skilled cuppers able to compete at an international level. These efforts were also recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture when a group from 15 different embassies came to visit the lab from around the world in October 2016.

A little bit of history: Cooperativa Norandino is an association of small-scale coffee producers in northern Peru. The 90 grassroots organizations are located on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains in Piura.

Cooperativa Norandino brings together three important coffee farmer groups with a long history in Peru. One such organization is the Central Piurana de Cafetaleros (CEPICAFE), which was was founded on March 26, 1995, with 18 primary-level co-op organizations and 200 members. CEPICAFE was founded after years of grassroots work by Arnaldo Neira, Segundo Guerrero and many others. After seeing the success achieved by implementing ecological technical farming systems and marketing quality coffee, more and more producers began to organize. "Together with our grassroots organizations we work permanently to promote sustainable and fair human development by broadening the capacities and ensuring respect for the rights of small-scale farmers and producers in the highlands of Piura," said Arnaldo Neira Camizán.

The second major group of growers who cooperated to create Cooperativa Norandino are from the area of Jaén and San Ignacio in the province of Cajamarca. A generation ago, these growers benefited from the services of the secondary cooperative CECOOAC-NOR, but that group collapsed during the economic chaos that engulfed Peru in the 1980s and 1990s. Small-scale farmers were subjected to the unfair buying practices of private corporations, but were able to organize themselves into new democratic organizations to build their own history. The third group of farmers are located around the San Martín area of northern Peru.

The region where Cooperativa Norandino members grow coffee is in the highlands of northwest Peru. All of Cooperativa Norandino’s coffee is grown by family units. The average area farmed by members is 1.8 hectares (about four acres). The structure of small property allows them to dedicate all their efforts on the cultivation of coffee without damaging the aside forest and fruit species which serve as shade trees to the coffee and supply an important part of the families’ diets. Geographically, the area is located on the western flanks of the Andes Mountains, very close to Ecuadorian border.

You can find Norandino's coffee beans in: