|Founded in 2002 Comprised of 49 members||Pumiri, Caranavi|
|Organic; FLO||1300-1550 meters above sea level|
|Arabica – Caturra, Mundo Novo, Typica, Castillo||Medium bodied, mild acidity, earthy, brown sugar, tobacco and nougat|
AIPEP, the Asociación Integral de Productores Ecológicos de Pumiri, is a primary-level producer association, located in the small village of Pumiri tucked away in the Yungas mountains in the province of Caranavi in Bolivia.
The association was formally founded in 2002. From its beginnings, members worked hard to develop the internal systems for excellent organic production and quality control. AIPEP obtained organic certification when it was founded, but had no export market. It wasn’t until 2006 that AIPEP developed a direct relationship with a buyer, thanks to the support of FECAFEB, Federación de Caficultores Exportadores de Bolivia.
In the spring of 2006, FECAFEB facilitated an extensive tour of the Bolivian Yungas region for Cooperative Coffees, and we were so impressed by AIPEP’s organization and member participation, that we decided to partner with them. Out of that visit, came our first contracts of Bolivian Fair Trade and organic coffee which helped AIPEP eventually achieve FLO certification and its first exports via FECAFEB. We have continued to purchase coffee from AIPEP every year since. In 2016, the organization obtained its own export permit and Fair Trade certification in order to export coffee directly to Cooperative Coffees. This is quite a feat for an organization with such a small number of farmers!
At its heart, AIPEP has also kept solid mechanisms for assuring participation and administrative oversight by members. Every time we visit AIPEP, their board of directors convenes a meeting at the local two-room school house, so that a majority of members can meet their buyers.