Global Vision Awards 2007
Courtesy of Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps
Winner: Community Outreach
Aldea Global, Nicaragua
A member of one of the 1,000 families based in Jinotega, Nicaragua, who participate in Aldea Global, a fair-trade coffee cooperative.
In the northern coffee-growing region of Jinotega, Nicaragua, a small group of indigenous farmers planted the first seeds of what would, 15 years later, become Aldea Global. Today, this homegrown cooperative claims 1,000 farmer families as members and produces nearly 800,000 pounds of Fair Trade coffee yearly—a yield that brings $1 million in sales from clients that include Coffee Bean International, Equator Estates, and the Holland Coffee Group. Membership in Aldea Global (a $50 annual fee) buys far more than access to global markets. The sustainable agribusiness provides members with a free education on environmentally sound farming techniques. It helps them to secure credit lines from financial institutions to bolster economic development. And it also grants female members microloans to start cottage industries that help them achieve self-sufficiency. Indeed, Aldea Global's customers are so impressed by the model, they've invested in mobile health clinics and water filters to ensure that the Jinotegan community stays healthy and continues to produce high-quality beans. For the constellation of small farming associations struggling to survive, Aldea Global serves as a model of how fair trade can change lives in the competitive world market.
Our judge says: "Aldea Global is the heart and soul of what sustainability really is—grassroots organizing, using local agriculture and working with big business through fair trade. This is the real deal."—Auden Schendler
Visit the Global Vision Awards 2007 article.