The story behind
Honduras is the largest coffee producer in in Central America and behind only Colombia and Brazil for all of Latin America. However, it was not such a big player until recently, with most of their coffee destined to commercial grades. But reinvestment by the government into technical assistance and infrastructure has increased the quality nationwide.
The Cooperativa Mixta San Juancito Ltda., COMISAJUL cooperative is located in San Juancito, a small pueblo in central Honduras, 40 km northeast of Tegucigalpa, the country's capital. Originally a gold mining village, San Juancito had become a ghost town after the United States withdrew in 1954. The village was later revitalized by local coffee farmers who recognized the potential of the fertile land in coffee.
In 1984, the COMISAJUL coffee cooperative was founded by the union of coffee producers. Since then, the cooperative has focused on social development and fair trade and has also been Fairtrade certified since 2009. The members of the co-op are, like most farmers in Honduras, small holders with less than 3-ha of land. In addition to coffee they grow bananas, timber, and fruit trees, taking advantage of the shade provided by the trees to benefit their coffee growing and provide extra income.