Cooperating to Empower Farmers
NCBA/CLUSA’s most successful project began in 1994. Our work in East Timor began by improving four value chains: coffee, spices, beef and timber. Beginning in 2002, NCBA/CLUSA helped form the Cooperative Café Timor (CCT) to improve coffee procurement and processing, allowing for dramatic increases in product volume and quality, and significantly strengthening the reputation of Timor organic coffee in the specialty market. Another major achievement is the production and marketing of a Timor “single origin varietal” coffee. In 2005, Starbucks began buying all of the CCT coffee, now marketed as “Starbucks Arabian Mocha Timor” in its 11,000 stores worldwide. As a result of this relationship, CCT has recently become the largest supplier of organic coffee in the world.
CLUSA staff assists Timorese Small Holders by helping them:
- Organize to purchase inputs and sell produce in bulk;
- Expand their coffee-related activities beyond production to include processing, drying, storage, transport, and sales.
- Diversify their agricultural activities to include other high-value cash crops including beef cattle, vanilla and timber.
- Enhance their knowledge and skills in agroforestry techniques to promote shade trees for coffee production and increase sustainability of fuel wood, fodder and timber production;
- Access essential health services via cooperatively run Health Clinics.
Wealthier and Healthier - Impacts
- 93 percent of the coffee exported from CCT is of the best quality;
- 22,000 farmer families have marketed their coffee crop through Cooperativa Café Timor for $25 million;
- Total US sale of coffee exceeds $44 million;
- Wages paid to employees and seasonal workers of the project’s assisted groups surpass $29 million to date;
- technical assistance to some 3,000 vanilla farmers has resulted in a quarter-million dollars worth of sales in the U.S. market to McCormick Spices;
- 1.8 million tree and coffee seedlings have been produced and distributed.
- Clinic Café Timor treated over 1.4 million patients by March 2009.