Far from the fields and coffee farms, the women of Soppexcca cooperative work long, hard hours sorting coffee beans at the mill. Most walk the road to work, which leaves only a few evening hours to shop for family necessities along their commute. As a result, the women routinely buy food and goods from roadside vendors in small quantities and at high prices - a transaction of circumstance that keeps them in debt.
In 2010 with funds from our Fair to Farmer Direct program the women opened a mercado (translation: a market or store) just steps away from the sorting mill. Here, off the streets and in a safe environment the women can buy what they need at a manageable price.