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Guatemalan National Coffee Association - ANACAFE.

Anacafe is the acronym in Spanish for the Guatemalan National Coffee Association. It was founded through the initiative of a group of coffee growers who had the vision of bringing together all the different private entities who dedicate themselves in one way or another to the activities of coffee production.

Structured as a private non-profit organization, the association has since then successfully provided support and united people and companies who dedicate themselves to one of the most vast and important economic activities in Guatemala.

The main objective and mission of Anacafe is to bring together all the coffee growers in the country, promote the production and marketing of coffee, defend the interests of coffee growers, create and maintain harmony between workers and employers - and in all these ways contribute to the growth of the national economy.

Anacafe maintains and promotes communication with the National Unitary Council of Workers, also contributing in this way to the constant improvement of the working conditions and productivity of the coffee-growing sector.

It is through Anacafe that the coffee-growing sector of Guatemala provides advice, technical assistance, and training to national coffee growers; promotes its coffee inside and outside of the country; registers export documents; and sponsors seminars, workshops, and research. For this purpose, it has an ample database, specialized human resources department, and a modern communication network at its disposal.

Many different people and many different activities are involved in the coffee industry of Guatemala. There are approximately 62,000 growers who engage in coffee cultivation, most of which are small farms and cooperatives. Of these, 43,707 are small independent farmers that represent 71% of all coffee producers. Apart from these farmers, who work independently, there are 157 cooperatives and 218 other organized groups that account for approximately 25% of the production. Only 0.9% of all coffee producers are large farms.

Thus, it is through cooperation and unified efforts that the coffee-growing sector contributes to attain a higher standard of living for the Guatemalan population. For 27 years, it has been carrying out a Social Action Program, which consists of a variety of projects which promote health and education.

This program provides education in several regions of the country - in schools financed by the coffee growers and installed on farms or in nearby areas. Through cooperation, the farms also provide medicine for primary care, and there are 180 pharmacies on as many farms. Mother and childcare is the number one priority.

The coffee growing industry also invests in housing, supports other productive activities carried out by workers and their families, and facilitates recreational activities. The employees' families in the farms, in fact, are often engaged in other commercial activities such as carpentry, masonry, handicrafts, pig and poultry breeding, and mechanical and electrical workshops.

Recently, the Foundation for Rural Development was created through Anacafe, with the purpose of strengthening and expanding the participation of the coffee-growing industry in the social development of the nation. The action areas are health, education, training, housing, energy, and access roads. Environmental, sporting, and cultural activities are also included. The programs and projects target the population made up of small producers and coffee workers in the rural communities of the entire country.

Additionally, this Foundation will seek to adequately channel the contributions of private or public national and international agencies. In this way, the coffee growers will continue to execute projects that will benefit the communities and promote development to attain higher living standards.
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Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1998
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