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    How coffee farming is supporting the indigenous population of Guatemala……

    In Guatemala, indigenous people make up around 40% of the population, most of whom are of Mayan descent.

    Social and economic inequality is widespread among indigenous people in Guatemala and the majority work on small-scale coffee farms. The country’s main exports are coffee beans, sugar and bananas. Historically, Guatemala’s coffee exports have been dominated by large foreign-owned plantations rather than small coffee farms, which has meant that the exporter or the intermediary can take advantage of the farmers, pushing down prices for their crops, often leaving them in poverty and with few other options but to sell up and migrate.

    That’s why many co-operatives and small coffee producers team up, like the 20,000 small coffee producers who market their coffee through the Federación de Pequeños Productores de Café de Guatemala (also known as FEDECOCAGUA R.L.). This organisation consists of 148 different co-operatives and it gives farmers better access to global and direct trade. As a result, around 50% of all coffee produced in the country is now from small family-owned coffee farms.

    These farmers are now paid fairly for their work and, by creating a community based on fair trade and social inclusion, they are able to work collaboratively whilst maintaining independence.

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