Coffee is an important part of Nicaragua’s history, economy, and is one of the country’s most important exports. Large scale growing began in the mid 1800s, and it didn’t take long for it to become the country’s principal crop; by 1891, the crop exceeded 11 million pounds. However, because it must be grown in its mountainous regions, transport of the crop remains diddicult to this day, and many farmers have resorted to growing other crops. This has hurt production slightly, but Nicaraguan coffee continues to be highly sought after.
Our Nicaragua FTO coffee comes from the Unión de Cooperativas de Servicios Múltiples (UCOSEMUN), which was founded in 1998 in Nueva Segovia by eight cooperatives with the purpose of improving the lives of small scale coffee farmers. Coffee is their largest export, but many of the cooperatives also produce corn, beans and cattle for the national market. Coffee from UCOSEMUN comes from three different regions: San Rafael, Murra and Quilalí, Nicaragua.
Since its inception, the cooperative strives to increase their access to international markets, but producers were having difficulty exporting directly and were not receiving a fair price for their quality coffee. In 2008, UCOSEMUN decided to pursue Fair Trade certification and the cooperative has greatly benefited from Fair Trade’s direct link to international markets.