Miraflor is about an hour`s bus ride away from the town of Estelé and is a nature reserve that includes about 15 small farmers` cooperatives with at least 12 members each. Each co-operative has a representative within the Cooperativa Agropecuaria Union (UCA), which manages cooperatives, and offers various services such as health clinics, education, small loans and assistance related to the production and marketing of coffee. Coffee is the largest exchange harvest produced in Miraflor. Farmers produce both organic and non-organic coffee, but only export organic coffee. However, no coffee is 100% organic. It takes several years to get pesticides out of the ground and another five years to obtain an organic coffee certificate. UCA Miraflor helps farmers carry out legal and administrative work to obtain certificates. There is also a coffee lab in Miraflor, with workers trained in coffee tasting and quality assessment, who help farmers improve the quality of their coffee. The other cooperative I met, Del campo, has its administrative office in the city of Leon. This meeting was different in that I did not visit any of the farms, but I met with farmers, financial administrators, women`s representatives and the directors of the cooperative at Del Campo headquarters. Del Campo is a much larger cooperative than Miraflor and supports about 3,500 small and medium-sized fair trade and bio-organic enterprises, mainly in the Lein region.
Among other things, farmers produce sesame oil and soybeans. During the duration of the agreement, the United States systematically exported more than it imported. In 2018, the United States exported about $7.5 billion more than imports. By 2019, the United States is on track to export about $6.6 billion more than it imports. · Investor rights are supported by an effective and impartial, fully transparent dispute resolution process. Submissions from dispute resolution bodies and hearings will be open to the public and interested parties will have an opportunity to provide input. Fair Trade In order to get a deeper look at the lives of farmers in Nicaragua, I met with two farmers` cooperatives who both participate in fair trade. Fair trade allows consumers in rich countries to use their purchasing power to ensure that producers in poor countries benefit from “fair” activity, including a fair price for their products, to cover production costs and guarantee a living wage. Fair trade also includes organic and sustainable farming methods for the conservation of natural resources.
Iniciativa CID Three of the organizations I met, Centro Humboldt-Friends of the Earth Nicaragua, FENACOOP (National Federation of Agricultural and Agribusiness Cooperatives) and CST (Confederation of Workers – Jose Benito Escobar) actively participated in a regional initiative, Iniciativa CID (Mesoamerican Initiative of Trade, Integration and Sustainable Development).