ASOPEP is a flourishing organization of 168 coffee-farming families. Thirty of them have female heads of households and 30% of the cooperative members are under 30 years old. The Asociación de Productores Egológicos de Planadas (ASOPEP) is one of the few producers of certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee in Colombia.
Tolima is one of the most productive coffee-producing regions in Colombia, and the ASOPEP co-operative is relatively new to the Specialty Coffee market.
The town of Planadas is only 50 years old, established in 1966 with the first families to settle in the region coming from Antigua and Huila, both very well-known coffee-growing regions. The region has fantastic weather, with warm days and cool nights, and healthy young trees.
This organization was founded in 2013 with the following mission:
- To be known as an organization that creates opportunities for the personal growth of its members
- Protects the environment
- Innovates in commercial business processes and is always present
- Be at the forefront of specialty coffee production around the world
Recruitment by FARC in the area is common, with a focus on education and youth collectives focusing on barista training, tasting experience, quality control, business management, science, and technology. They recognize the value and challenges, as young people leave the coffee-growing countries for alternate opportunities.