Conacado Co-operative

 

Conacado co-operative is a democratically run cooperative found in the Dominican Republic, the second poorest country in the Caribbean.  Conacado was founded in 1988 by a group of farmers looking to bypass them middle man and export their cocoa directly to markets in hopes of gaining a higher return. The co-operative is made of up 182 small scale producer associations from 8 regions, totaling over 10,000 members.  In 1995  the co-operative was certified Fairtrade, and now sells 50% of its production to the Fairtrade market. Currently, the co-operative is one of the country's top producing cocoa exporters, selling between 6,500-13,300 tons of cocoa a year.     

 

Quick Facts

Name: Conacado Co-operative

Country: Dominican Republic 

Date Established: 1988

Members: 182 small scale producer co-ops, 10,000 plus members total

Products: cocoa, bananas, citrus, avocados

Social Premium Programs:

Cocoa Production: help attain higher prices by providing warehousing facilities and transporting crops to market.   Constructed 5 fermentation centers, 8 drying centers, 2 warehouses

Technical Assistance: training courses for farmers; quality control; increased yields; organic production program

Education: constructed a new school, community centre and library, provides scholarships to low income families

Health: rural community healthcare clinic, free medical check-ups, improved access to clean water

Social: plant nursery supplying low-cost cocoa seedlings and vegetables to farmers, community hall with subsidized canteen

Credit Scheme:  access to interest free credit for members

Infrastructure: maintenance of local roads and bridges