Partners

About Our Trade Relationships

Our long-standing trade relationships mean consistent quality and the pleasure of seeing the results of fair trade premiums invested over time. Our focus is on small-scale farmer co-ops that promote:
  • Premium Quality Coffee
  • Positive Social Impact
  • Organic Certification
Fair Trade Federation, Fair Trade International and other organizations like Sustainable Harvest are important allies to us. They help connect Level Ground with amazing co-ops that are providing great social programs for their communities and farmers. We work with 13 farmer organizations in 10 countries. 

Here are a few of the co-ops and producers that we are proud to work with:

FAIR TRADE PARTNERS

Fair Trade Federation Member icon

Fair Trade Federation

Fairtrade Certification icon

Fair Trade Canada

Sustainable Harvest Relationship Coffee icon

Sustainable Harvest

Ten Thousand Villages icon

Ten Thousand Villages

Young girl in Peru with traditional face paintings

Pangoa

We have been sourcing coffee from this central Peruvian co-op who works directly with First Nation Nomatsiguenga families and funding elementary education and schools and technical resourcing for the agronomist for the co-op. 

Their harvest is April to July, and about 10% of their 700 members supply Level Ground with our Peruvian beans.

Location: Central Peru
Elevation: 1,200-1,700m above sea level
Harvest: April–July
Trading Partner since: 2005
Workers spreading coffee to dry in sun

Fero

Level Ground has been buying from the Fero Co-operative, which is one of the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU)’s cooperatives since 2007. Fero was established by 53 coffee farmers in 1976. From the beginning Fero has focused on building social and economic resiliency in an impoverished and turbulent region.

Ethiopia has a short harvest season but that hasn’t stopped them from multiplying in members and production.

Location: Sidama region, near Lake Awasa, south central Ethiopia
Elevation: 1,700-1,950m above sea level
Harvest: November–December
Trading Partner since: 2007
Top view workers hand sorting coffee beans

Virunga

Virunga is a privately owned wet mill who sources from small-scale farmers around the Butembo community, in the North Kivu region. Virunga has more 3,000 members and produced over 1,000,000 plantlets in 2020. Virunga focused on education and organized a training campaign to teach 150 young, regional farmers in the Kivu region and were able to prune 180,000 trees. They also provided agricultural training to 6,000+ farmers and have invested in equipment that improve working conditions of female coffee hand-pickers.

 Due to the region, they also have a strong focus on health and sanitation due to malaria, VIH, and Ebola. 

Location: North Kivu, east Democratic Republic of Congo 
Elevation: 1,500-1,800m above sea level
Harvest: September–November  
Trading Partner since: 2015
Three workers sit outside, sort coffee cherries

Kagera Cooperative Union (KCU)

KCU is a large Union that grows and produces a variety of organic plants and crops. Although they have over 45,000 members, only 6,000 of those farmers grow organic natural arabica coffee beans (which is what we buy).

The Fairtrade premiums from their coffee production has meant different things for different people. Whether it’s paying their children’s school fees or uniforms, peeling machines and dryers for the farms, building toilets and improving sanitation, planting a forest, or education for staff and producers.

Location: Near Lake Victoria, Northwest Tanzania
Elevation: 1,300-1,500m above sea level
Harvest: May-June  
Trading Partner since: 2019
Worker picks coffee cherries from tree

Pacayal

A Honduran co-op, Pacayal Coffee invests in their community with strong agricultural practices, economic empowerment programs for women and quality research to develop award-winning coffees.

Pacayal Coffee was born out of the resilience of Honduran farmers who refused to give up on coffee production in the face of the 2013 Roya outbreak. Instead of emigrating to the US, Edgar and Karen Carillo realized they had great coffee and could start a business that would earn quality-driven farmers a better a price through direct market access. In 2014, they founded Pacayal Coffee, which has since grown to 134 members, 54 of whom are women. 

Location: Marcala, La Paz, Honduras
Elevation: 1,350-1,700m above sea level
Harvest: January-May  
Trading Partner since: 2020
Man with yellow bin walks down path between rows of coffee

Caficauca

Founded in 1985, Caficauca (the Co-operative of Coffee Growers of Cauca) represents over 3,000 farmers and focuses on quality coffee. The plateau of the Cauca region has volcanic soils and colder volanic winds that positively impact the Arabica coffee 

Caficauca helps its members with producing and processing coffee on the small scale farms. sustainability and combatting climate change. The co-op oversees premiums and fair wages that are put towards poverty reduction, education, productivity and sanitation projects, as well as empowering female coffee farmers.

Location: Vallé del Cauca, Southwest Colombia
Elevation: 1,750m above sea level
Harvest: April-June  
Trading Partner since: 2020
Colombia map infographic, regions where cacao, banana, pineapple, goldenberry, mango, dragon fruit, cane sugar grown

Fruandes

Fruandes is a company that we have been working with for almost 20 years, since its inception in 2002. Fruandes is a Triple bottom line company using Fair Trade principles to promote organic fruit farming in Colombia.

Fruandes packages all of Level Ground's Dried Fruit and Cacao Nibs.

Location: Colombia
Harvest: different fruits are harvested throughout the year, and have unique harvest seasons.
Trading Partner since: 2002
Worker with basket in tea garden picking tea buds, Assam India

The Small Tea Co-op of Assam

Tea growers in Assam, India, were introduced to Level Ground through two non-profit organizations:
Small Tea Co-op and Fertile Ground. These entrepreneurs grow tea organically and micro-manufacture tea at their garden site. Their rural enterprises create local employment and healthier environments.

Location: Assam, India
Harvest: April-September
Trading Partner since: 2011