Producer focus: Junieth the coffee grower
Tuesday, 12th February 2019 by Chen
Fairtrade organic coffee grower Junieth

With Fairtrade Fortnight coming up, we want to shine a light on one of the women who grows the Equal Exchange Fairtrade organic coffee that we serve at our farmers' market every Saturday. You may even have drunk a cup made from beans she harvested herself! 

You can meet Junieth at our farmers' market this Saturday between 11am and 12.30pm. Helen Yuill from Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign will also be there to answer questions.


Junieth Leiva is a Fairtrade coffee grower and a member of the agricultural cooperative union (UCA) Soppexcca in Jinotega in Nicaragua.

The union is made up of 650 small-scale coffee and cocoa farmers organised into 15 cooperatives. Junieth and her family own 3.5 hectares of land where they grow coffee, cocoa and organic vegetables for their own consumption and to sell locally.

Through the cooperatives, all members have opportunities to sell their Fairtrade certified coffee at a higher price than the market price. In assemblies of members decisions are taken about how the Fairtrade premium will be used for the benefit of coffee growers and their families. These have included funding for environmental protection, gender training for young people, improving quality control and a cervical cancer screening programme.

Junieth says: “Thanks to the support that Fairtrade has given to Soppexcca, I have had the opportunity to take part in training on tasting of speciality coffee and gender. We are working on diversifying our crops through growing organic vegetables; our dream is to set up market stalls for organic produce. The union has supported us by providing an irrigation system."

Planting new coffee plants to replace those killed by rust fungus (above)

Junieth says climate change has already has a huge impact on her community: “Coffee yields have decreased dramatically: rising temperatures cause a coffee rust fungus that has affected us badly. But we work continually to conserve natural resources and improve our environment. We do this by looking after the bushes and water sources, planting trees, and organising campaigns for the correct use of water, management of rubbish and many other measures. In my home we have installed a bio-digester." 

As temperatures rise, it is becoming increasingly difficult to grow coffee on lower slopes. Junieth is one of the farmers involved in a cocoa conversion programme (below). 


  • Find out more about the Soppexcca coop - and watch a short film about them - on the Perkee coffee website.
  • Meet Junieth at our farmers' market on Saturday 23 February 2019 between 11am and 12.30pm.
  • Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 25 February till 10 March 2019. Click the link to find out how to get involved.
  • At our farmers' market, we serve organic Fairtrade Equal Exchange "Coffee Grown by Women". As well as coming from women in the Soppexcca union in Nicaragua, the coffee sold under this label is grown by women farmers in Peru.
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