COMAL (Asociación Civil Comercializadora Maya Alternativa) has been at the forefront of gender equality in coffee production. Nearly 1/2 of COMAL’s members are women and the cooperative has created a number of programs to support female producers.
Each producer involved in this lot processes and dries their own coffee on small patios. They all have their own small pulpers, fermentation tanks and washing systems. COMAL organizes the collection of dried parchment from members and delivers it to the FECCEG dry mill in Quetzaltenango. Here, the quality team analyzes each lot. Depending on the quality, it will either be kept separate and sold as a microlot or blended with other coffees from the same producer organization and quality group.
While coffee is the main cash crop for these producers, they also cultivate honey, fruit trees and subsistence crops like maize and beans. They also plant trees to preserve biodiversity and protect reserves of groundwater as well as a variety of flowers and plants that attract bees and increase their honey production.
La Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) was created in 2006 in response to the coffee crisis at the start of the century. The aim of the organisation is to develop programs with more impact on the coffee-producing communities, to get better access to the international coffee market, and to consolidate export logistics. The organisation supports its member organisations and producers with technical support, crop diversification programs, education about integrated farming, and support with Organic and Fairtrade certification.