Colombia – Fondo Paez

Round flag of Colombia
A coffee farmer stands looking out his house.


Founded in 1992 Comprised of 550 members

Geographic Region

Department of Cauca


1300-1900 meters above sea level


Arabica – Typica, Castillo


Organic; FLO; SPP

Coffee Profile

Bright acidity, full body w/ raisin, apricot, honey blossom and brown sugar flavors

Current Lot

COP2301 (click icon to view)

Relationship Started


Amount Purcased

1514.20 lbs from this lot

Asociación Fondo Paez was founded in 1992 with the goal of revitalizing the culture and traditional agricultural practices of the Paez, Colombia's largest indigenous group. The cooperative is organized democratically and follows an equal ownership model, which enables it to provide social benefits and return a significant portion of profits to its 550 producers. Fondo Paez offers technical support, quality control, and logistical assistance to its member cooperatives.

In 2000, Fondo Paez began selling its first Fair Trade coffees through the Specialty Coffees Program of the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC). Although Fair Trade remains relatively unpopular among Colombian farmers, Fondo Paez achieved official Fairtrade certification in 2005. Paez community leaders, in collaboration with the non-profit Fundación Colombia Nuestra, established the "Recovering Agricultural Knowledge" program to promote traditional holistic farming techniques, aiming for self-sufficiency and environmental sustainability. The cooperative has invested in educating farmers to balance the production of cash crops such as coffee, sisal, beans, and tropical fruits with feed crops, food for their own consumption, and nitrogen-fixing crops to maintain soil health.

Fondo Paez farmers are primarily located in the Department of Cauca, situated along Colombia’s southwestern coast. The region is largely covered by the Cordillera Central mountains, and coffee is typically grown at altitudes between 1,500 and 1,900 meters above sea level. Fondo Paez produces a distinctly Colombian coffee, characterized by a full body and notes of raisin, apricot, honey blossom, and brown sugar, along with lively acidity. Out of the 370 farms represented by Fondo Paez, 290 currently produce certified organic coffee, while many others are working towards certification.

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