The decaf Swiss Water Process Mexico FTO FIECH is sourced from over 2,800 farmer families from the Federación Indigena Ecologica de Chiapas. FIECH is made up of 15 cooperatives representing 21 different municipalities in the Chiapas region and gained their Fair Trade Certification in 1996. Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Mame, Chuj and Zoque farmers formed the organization in 1996. They wanted to improve quality and yield, and get affordable credit. They were worried about chemical inputs, soil erosion, fish and bird deaths, and the emigration of their young people seeking jobs. FIECH farmers have built a modern warehouse with high-technology equipment for quality control. The co-op provides technical assistance, repairs and calibrates machinery, built school dormitories, developed women’s programs and created a community lending bank. Members are diversifying with a roasting facility, wholesale and retail sales, ecotourism and other commercial crops. Farmers have tripled their average income by converting to organic production. They have used their resources to improve their homes, further their children’s education, and provide better food and health care for their families.
Of the co-op’s 3,081 hectares, more than 2,000 were under organic cultivation in 2004. Farmers plan to convert 1,043 hectares more for the 2005 cycle. They currently produce 15,000 bags (cherry) of certified organic, Fairtrade coffee and 14,000 bags of coffee in transition to organic.
Swiss Water® Process is a method to decaffeinate selected specialty coffee that is 100% chemical free using an internally developed Green Coffee Extract. They are passionate about supporting sustainability and health in coffee growing regions, support causes that impact water conservation and partner with Grounds for Health.
For more information about Swiss Water and their method of decaffeination, visit https://www.swisswater.com/about-us/sustainability/