Friday, March 18, 2016

Host Profile: Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG)

Kishé products
Since 2014, Partners of the Americas’ Farmer-to-Farmer program has collaborated with the Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG). FECCEG was founded in 2006 and was originally comprised of eight cooperatives and associations of small producers interested in consolidating their coffee production and independently processing their coffee for niche specialty markets.

To date, Partners of the Americas has sent three F2F volunteers to work with FECCEG. In January 2015, Michael Drankwalter was the first. During his assignment, Mr. Drankwalter traveled to eight different communities in Guatemala where FECCEG was working to conduct trainings on proper beekeeping and honey production. As FECCEG’s coffee is produced organically, many producers have turned to apiculture and honey production to manage pests on the farm and diversify income sources.

F2F volunteer Willis Brown participating in a coffee cupping demonstration
In March 2015, Willis Brown, served as an F2F volunteer for FECCEG and trained beneficiaries on marketing strategies to drive sales of their coffee brand, Kishé, in the United States. Most notably, Mr. Brown's work inspired the logo found on FECCEG's coffee. After a careful assessment of FECCEG's products and the local community where the coffee is grown, Mr. Brown recommended the use of the image of a volcano to represent the Guatemalan coffee of Kishé. 

Finally, in November 2015, Thessalonika Benny assisted FECCEG in developing a business plan and sales strategy to market and sell their products in the U.S. Additionally, prior to her assignment, Ms. Benny hosted FECCEG representatives in Seattle to introduce them to potential buyers.

Since 2014, FECCEG's income from coffee sales has increased from $2.6 million to almost $3.2 million, making a significant difference in the lives of its 1,630 producer members and their families. Future F2F assignments will focus on assisting FECCEG with their U.S. marketing campaign and promoting their brand among U.S. consumers.

In February 2016, Nidia Gomez and others from FECCEG stopped by our office to do a coffee tasting demonstration of their products and to give us an update of the impact of their work. Below is a photo of their time in the office!
Partners of the Americas with FECCEG staff!

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