Great Masters of the Peruvian HighlandsFounded in 2008, Coopecan is run by six associations and 93 individual alpaqueros. Together they care for almost 3,000 camelids in the highlands of Southern Peru.
Some of the poorest and most remote communities of the upper Andes, rely on alpacas to provide their only chance of income.
These hardy animals, best known for the insulating quality of their wool, are also a vital source of transport for goods such as medicine across the mountainous terrain. Most alpaqueros, live in remote areas high up in the Andes. Many live in clay houses with no electricity or running water. Here, alpacas are a vital part of Peruvian life where more than 50% of the population survive on less than one dollar a day.
The women and children of Andean villages nurture their herds all year round, shearing their coats just once a year. Alpacas are treated like family; without them, these remote Andean communities would face a serious threat to their livelihoods.
Due to the co-operative’s strong commitment to Fairtrade principles, Coopecan approached Shared Interest for support in early 2016, to pay their farmers on time and develop their premises to improve efficiency.
It is this holistic approach to their work that leads Coopecan to support their alpaqeros with medication for themselves and their herd, and also advise on good environmental practices. The result is better feed, healthier alpacas and better quality wool.
“The impact of the Shared Interest loan on the lives of our members, and especially my family, is very important because without it, Coopecan could not buy fibre directly from the producers, and that would cause the intermediaries to pay us lower prices for our fibre. With the loan, Coopecan can help to keep regulated the price of the fibre, of which all benefit from a higher income.” Jorge Basilio, President, Coopecan
Fairtrade Guernsey are supporters of Shared Interest.