Union Majomut, Mexico
San Cristobal, Mexico
Union Majomut is a relatively new relationship for Just Us!. We bought our first container in 2013 and were very impressed with the quality. In January of 2014 we made our first visit to meet members of the co-op and visit several of the communities. We were very happy to see the level of transparency, democratic structure and genuine ambition to improve quality of life for everyone in the organization.
Union Majomut consists of 1012 farmer members from 35 different indigenous communities of Tzotziles and Tzeltales Mayan decent in the Chiapas highlands. The organization was originally founded in 1982 as a solidarity movement between peasant farmers in the area who were frustrated that nearly all of Mexican government’s support for coffee growers was directed to large estate coffee growing operations. Together, at least they would be able to offer one another some additional support and create an infrastructure to market and export their own coffee while offering social supports for their member communities.
Currently 85% of Union Majomut’s production is certified organic and the other 15% of its members are transitioning to organic production. Organic farming is important to the indigenous communities of the Chiapas highlands who are disheartened by the increased environmental degradation they are seeing in their lifetimes. They practice compost tea making, permacultural techniques, vermicomposting (worm compost), seed saving, shade growing methods and compost production. The organization has also implemented its own community garbage pick-up for inorganic waste since municipalities do not offer this service.
At Union Majomut they also believe in empowering the grower. Micro financing has been available to members since 2004 and technical agricultural knowledge is being downloaded from the agricultural engineers in the organization to one or two farmers in each community so that they can act as a mentor and problem-solver when day-to-day issues surface and also conduct internal inspections every year to ensure farmers are following organic standards.
Although our relationship is still young our visit in 2014 reassured us that the values of Union Majomut and Just Us! align very well and we look forward to better knowing one another in the future.
Co-operative: Union Majomut
Date Established: 1982