Information for associates
Let’s do it together!
Mission & Vision
We are an Agricultural and Industrial Cooperative that produce and market efficient, innovative and sustainable products and services; of high quality for our associates and clients, with committed and trained human personnel.
CoopeVictoria RL is an agro-industrial cooperative that was born in 1943 in the canton of Grecia, Costa Rica, an area that since the beginning of the century and up to the present has within its main socio-economic activities the production and industrialization of coffee and sugar cane.
(Español) En Cooperativa Agrícola Industrial Victoria R.L., producimos y comercializamos productos y servicios eficientes, innovadores y sostenibles de alta calidad, brindando mejoramiento continuo, basado en los principios del movimiento cooperativo.
CoopeVictoria is located in the city of Grecia, in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. Its influence is marked mainly in the western area of the central valley, highlighting the cantons of:
- San Ramón
- Valverde Vega
- San Carlos
- Los Chiles
- San Mateo
SOME INDICATORS OF THE VICTORIA AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIAL COOPERATIVE
• Number of associates: 2942.
• Founded in 1943, it is currently the most experienced cooperative in Costa Rica.
• Located in Grecia canton, in the province of Alajuela Costa Rica. This canton has approximately 80,000 inhabitants.
• Its area of influence is comprised of 10 cantons of the province of Alajuela.
• CoopeVictoria with around 3000 families related to the activity has an approximate amount of 20,000 indirect beneficiaries. Reason why is considered a source of development in the area, generating work and mobility to the local economy.
• It is a cooperative of small producers: 91% of the coffee producing partners deliver less than 50 bushels of product per year, 8% less than 300 bushels and only 1% more than 300 bushels. 66% produce less than 100 tons per year, 16% less than 200 tons and 18% more than this amount.
• Average land tenure per associate of cane 2.3 hectares.
• Average land tenure per associate of coffee 1.6 hectares.
• 72% of associates have a capital of less than ¢ 600,000 ($ 1100) and only 28% a capital greater than this amount, which shows that it is a cooperative of small producers whose spirit is not the accumulation of wealth in hands of a few but the distribution of it in a democratic way.
• Its own coffee brands: CoopeVictoria, Monte Camejo, El Campesino and special editions such as Valle del Sol, Caracolillo, La Inés, Geicha, Victoria Plus. In addition to an innovation product, Café Infusión CoopeVictoria.
• The sugar is processed for the League Agricultural Industrial of the Cane (LAICA).
• Production of organic fertilizer with production waste under the brand name: Victoria.
• 210 permanent workers and more than 700 casual workers.
• Due to its geographical location, climate and quality, the coffee produced in CoopeVictoria is considered one of the best in the country.
• CoopeVictoria is a regulator and fixative of coffee prices in the region, which reduces the impact of unfair competition for its members.
• RAIN FOREST international certification of good environmental management of agricultural farms.
• Fair Trade International Certification (Fair trade), on quality, environmental, social and labor policies.
• International Certification ISO 9000 as a management and quality system
• FSSC 22000 certification on quality and harmlessness.
• National environmental management certification: Ecological Blue Flag.
• Commercialization of coffee at the national level, mainly in the west of the central valley.
• Exporter of coffee and sugar to countries such as: United States, Australia and Switzerland.
• Operation for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year:
a. 259,393 bushels of coffee harvested and processed (1 fanega: 258 kg of coffee in fruit)
b. 24,121 quintals of gold grain coffee of produced (1 quintal: 46 kg)
c. 156,599 tons of sugarcane processed
d. 346,615 packages of 50 kg of sugar produced.
• Since 2008, the biofuel production project is emphasized (Biodiesel) is based on residual oils from the meals that are collected in the community.
Cooperativism is a socio-economic doctrine that promotes the organization of people to meet their needs together, based on their own efforts and mutual help.
A cooperative is a non-profit and democratic organization that is governed by values that regulate the life of the cooperative, under 7 main principles:
• Open and voluntary membership. • Democratic control by associates. • Economic participation of associates. • Autonomy and independence.
• Education, training and information • Cooperation between cooperatives. • Commitment with the community.
It is common for cooperatives to organize themselves as a defense against activities that distort profitable intermediation.
In Costa Rica there are 887,335 cooperative members who trust in this model of social economy, being 21% of the national population. There are 860,843 adults, 26,492 minors from all over the country, who live the principles and values of cooperativism, according to the data of the IV National Cooperative Census 2012.
Certifications and Recognitions
Our cooperative is characterized by having high parameters of quality in its processes, final products and management models friendly to the environment and social commitment, which is why it currently has the following certifications and awards that demonstrate it:
• Grecia Brand: Cantonal brand promoted by the Local Government of the Canton of Grecia to highlight its companies, its attractions and its people in the minds of tourists and investors.
• RAINFOREST: international certification of good environmental management of agricultural farms.
• COSTA RICA ESSENTIAL: This is the country brand for Costa Rica, it is the way in which is projected to the world to promote its products and services of high quality, sustainability, excellence, innovation and others.
For coffee, there is an international quality certification in the production processes and final product.
Food safety risk management throughout the supply chain.
• FAIR TRADE: international certification that stipulates compliance parameters such as: fair payment to producers, and workers, adequate use of agrochemicals, environmental protection, compliance with social guarantees, prohibition of child labor, commitment to the community, among others.
• C.A.F.E Practices: This program seeks to promote the sustainable quality of green coffee, the social and environmental sustainability of producers and thus commercialize with Starbucks Coffee Company.
Comercio Justo – Fairtrade
Comercio Justo – Fairtrade
COMERCIO JUSTO – FAIRTRADE
Fair Trade (Comercio Justo) is an international certification that promotes good socio-environmental practices and puts people at the center of production.
It is important for the organization because it allows a socially and environmentally responsible management system, which in turn allows access to differentiated markets that value sustainable agriculture.
USE OF THE PRIZE
When placing products under the Fairtrade seal (coffee and sugar) in international markets, associates receive a prize (or premium) that is used for different activities such as the following:
|Improvement in the price paid to coffee producers||Large part of the Fair Trade premium is used to support producers, since agricultural production in Costa Rica has very high costs, this extra price also helps to stimulate production so that they do not abandon the coffee activity and can count with a fairer payment for his work. The surcharge consists of an economic bonus for each bushel of coffee delivered by the producer.|
|Extra payment for cane sugar production||The distribution of national sugar production in Costa Rica affects small producers, who are adversely affected in the final price. That is why CoopeVictoria devotes an important part of the prize received for sugar sales to generate an extra payment to the producer for each kilogram of sugar obtained, to compensate almost 100% the aforementioned problems.|
|PRODUCTIVITY AND TRAINING||Annually a percentage of the prize is allocated to improve the productivity of the plantations of the associates and the fertility of the soil. This through actions such as: delivery of a bonus of inputs such as dolomite lime, technological packages, new coffee plants or others according to the need of each moment.
In addition, other important points such as constant training of members in meeting the criteria, handling of chemical products, good agricultural practices, is why a percentage of the award is also allocated to these functions.
AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MARKETS
|The generation of added value is one of the main strategies to improve the quality of life of producers, which is why CoopeVictoria partners have decided to invest part of the prize in the development and research of new markets, for example through participation in fairs or commercial tours in Europe and Asia.|
OF COMMUNAL DEVELOPMENT
|One of our main objectives is to generate development projects that offer new opportunities to the communities. That is why we have developed the project "Sumando ideas cambiamos el mundo"(Adding up ideas we will change the world) with the use of the prize. This is a project that is carried out annually.
This consists of a call for projects that support the strengthening of development initiatives in the institutions of the region. For example, in the 2018 edition a call was made for educational centers where the development of school cooperatives and organic gardens in schools was promoted, awarding $ 6000 to the 3 winning institutions.
WITH THE COMMUNITY
|CoopeVictoria associates have voluntarily allocated a percentage of the prize received to community aid, is focused on collaborating economically with different institutions, such as: nursing homes, schools, colleges, sports committees, charities, centers for adolescents with drug addiction, associations that promote the protection of the environment and communal recycling centers. In addition, part of this percentage is destined to improvements of roads or highways in the communities of the area of influence.
These grants usually consist of improvements in infrastructure, carrying out activities, purchase of supplies, donation in cash, among others.
|DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECTS FOR THE PROJECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT||- Reforestation: Every year, the "Fair Trade Reforestation Area" project aims to promote the care of the environment in young people through field and didactic learning activities, and the importance of reforestation is accompanied.
- Campaigns to clean local rivers: CoopeVictoria belongs to a rescue and monitoring committee of local rivers. Every year awareness and clean-up campaigns are carried out in vulnerable rivers, for example the "Río Agualote". These campaigns mobilize a large number of volunteers from the Cooperative, as well as resources to achieve the goal.
- Cane-burning prevention campaigns: Sugarcane plantations are highly vulnerable to vandalism, which has a strong impact on the environment, the community and the productivity of the plantations. That is why annually is invested in an awareness campaign that includes actions such as:
road marking, posters, social networks, outreach in the community, among others
|Clean energy production through recycling||Since 2010, the cooperative has developed a project that has as main objectives the generation of biodiesel as a substitute for fossil fuel. This project has allowed the development of educational workshops on the recycling of cooking oil, establishment of collection centers, recycling of more than 500 thousand liters of oil and production of 400 thousand liters of biodiesel, for use by the cooperative's vehicles and its associates. This ambitious project has been strengthened thanks to the support of the fair trade prize, which has enabled us to train more children and generate better sensitivity.|
|Support for workers||Thanks to the certification the committee of workers is created, the members have allocated a percentage of the prize, (which is administered by the committee) to carry out training activities, recreational, sports and preventive activities for health. The fund for associated workers provides an economic contribution to stimulate the growth of the associative base.|