El Ceibo Co-operative

The El Ceibo Co-operative is located in the Alto Beni region of northeast Bolivia.  The area was colonized in the 1960's and colonists were given small farms, but had to join a government run cooperative.  After the cooperative went bankrupt the cocoa farmers were left without resources to market or transport their products.  As a result farmers turned to intermediaries, and received low prices for their products because they lacked the knowledge of the market.   In the 1970's  farmers organized into their own cooperatives, and in 1977 many of the cooperatives united to form El Ceibo.  Together they were able to maximize their marketing power and begin to see higher prices for their products.  In 1997 El Ceibo was certified fair trade.  Today El Ceibo continues to work toward the goal of improving the living conditions of its members and increasing crop diversity and productivity.  Approximately 65% of the co-op production was certified organic as of May 2000 and the co-op continues to work toward increasing that amount. 


Quick Facts

Name: El Ceibo Co-operative

Country: Bolivia

Date Established: 1977

Members: 36 small producer cooperatives

Products: cocoa, coffee, citrus fruits, bananas, dried fruits

Social Premium Programs:

Community project & activities fund

Safety fund for medical emergencies

Incentives for organic production