ADVANTAGES of Co-Ops
There are many advantages to being in a cooperative. It allows for smaller companies to have access to resources without having to sell out to a larger company like Doka. By buying in, they can gain access to things like education on sustainable and more effective farming practices, connections with labs that grow genetically modified coffee plants (which can disease resistant and stronger overall), and help from agro-engineers. Furthermore, it takes off the burden of having to be an individual seller. Instead of having to figure out how to process and buying all the equipment to wash and process the coffee fruit, they simply drop off their coffee beans and still have access to the profits it gains them. In addition, Farmers have more in a say what happens to their coffee. In a centralizes company like Doka, all the decisions are made by the ‘head’ of the cooperation. Within the Co-op, their must be a majority or a consensus reached if they want to spearhead new projects or adjust what they use profits for. Lastly, because the co-operative is run by a large portion of the community, it also contributes a lot to community itself.
Without the cooperative, many social welfare benefits would be lost. As mentioned in the presentation, Dota provides higher incomes to farmers as initiative to join the cooperative. This increasing the quality of life for farmers because they can provide more for their families. Second (or segundo in espanol), they provide social programs like a senior living center and provide schooling for the children to become baristas. These social programs allow for the farms in the cooperative to not only invest in the future of the community but also keep their children connected to the coffee business. By educating the children on something they are interested in, they feel connected and will want to help grow the community business with their families.
DISADVANTAGES of Co-Op
In my honest opinion, I don’t seem many disadvantages to the co-operative program. As a socialist, putting power in the hands of people is very important to me and seems to be a good business model. However, from an analytical perspective, there are a few flaws to be identified about the co-op business model. First, within 900 farms having a say this can lead to a long tedious decision making process and makes it hard for consensus to be reached. Though democracy is important, as the company grows, there will be a limit to the effectiveness of their methods. Second, everyone gets an equal say in decisions. While this is important so that smaller companies can have a say, it also creates a discourse within the community. Somebody who only contributes 1 hector of land to the mills can have equal weight as someone who contributes 160 hectors. This could be problematic because the person with more hectors is contributing more the Dota overall, yet can be outweighed by those who dedicate less land and time to the company.
The Importance of Cafe Privilegios
Cafe Privilegios offers 2 main things. First, it offers the children of farmers the opportunity to work as baristas and stay connected to the coffee process even if it is not through picking. Furthermore, it also encourages Tikos to start drinking the coffee that is produced by Dota. As they mentioned, they have yet to get Tikos to catch on with drinking their coffee, however they want too. This cafe offers the best of both worlds. Providing a service to the community and increasing Dota’s bandwidth as a company
My favorite type of coffee
My favorite preparation of coffee would be an cappuccino. This would be using a washed, medium roast. Grinded a moderator amount so the coffee is not too strong. Using an espresso machine (which utilises the pressure method), creates a strong tasting blend of coffee that is diluted with equal parts milk and foam. Plus they usually have pretty designs on them 🙂 Call me a simple gal if you will, but if your food looks good, it tastes good.