July 6, 2018

Cooperation is Key

In 1769 a group of weavers in Fenwick, Scotland, began selling oatmeal at a discount. Little did they know that nearly 250 years later, the cooperative movement they started is now saving rainforest.

Cool Earth is celebrating how the people-centred model is providing the answers to rainforest protection in Peru. As always, simple, effective solutions are the key. And giving rainforest communities the chance to develop sustainable incomes of their own, helps keep trees standing.

Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises, owned and run by and for their members to achieve their common goals and ambitions. In the rainforest, a group of voices can make itself heard far easier than one alone, and that’s the key to beating inequality and developing sustainable incomes.

When it comes to selling rainforest produce, it can be hard to forge reliable market links on your own. And it’s difficult to know you’re getting a good price. In the Awajún, there’s a buyers cooperative from the local town. It runs a selling event where individual cacao growers can harness the collective buying power and get a great price for their crop. Last month, a record four tonnes of cacao beans were sold to the cooperative, returning a vital source of income for the growers’ families. The increase in quality and yield of cacao is testament both to the grower’s hard work, and to Cool Earth’s supporters providing funds for seeds, tools, and the skills of a cacao consultant.

Cooperation is Key

“My cacao plot has improved a great deal. It was plagued with disease and now it’s healthy. Now I’m selling 70 kilos, which improves my family’s quality of life. I feel very grateful to Cool Earth, since my plot used to be abandoned and now it’s producing and I’m harvesting. Thank you.”


– Eugenio Orrego Ipukuy Chief of the community of Huaracayo, Peru


The best cooperatives have sustainability and resilience at their core. Not only for people, but for their environment. It’s why the model is such a good fit for Cool Earth’s partnership communities to connect with. Creating sustainable partnerships that will be effective at protecting forest long-term.

From Scottish villages in the 18th Century, to rainforest villages today, cooperatives are making a difference and changing lives.




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