Fast Facts on Coop Yeni Navan, MICHIZA

  • Altitude: 900 - 1800 meters
  • Varieties: mainly Criole
  • Established in 1985
  • Membership: 1033 
  • Located in the regions around Oaxaca

Yeni Navan started as a small organization regrouping organic coffee producers from various ethnic groups. Their name, Michiza, is an abbreviation of these five groups:  Mixtecos, Chinantecos, Chatinos, Cuicatecos and Zapotecos. The farmers hoped that through the organization they would be able to stop the local intermediaries from manipulating the local price of coffee and exploiting them in the process.

Initially, they sold their coffee only on the local market. In 1989, the organization obtained legal status under the name Yeni Navan, and they had the authorization to export. By 1991, they were capable of exporting independently.

MICHIZA offers technical support to its members to improve their capacity in organic agriculture and overall coffee quality and yields. MICHIZA is also responsible for marketing and the direct export of their members` coffee. In addition, they are in a constant process of promoting women`s participation in their  decision-making, the impact of which is noted in the number of women who are members.

Fast Facts on Yachil Xojobal Chu’lchan

  • Founded in 2001, Organic Certified in 2005
  • Over 800 Members in 8 municipalities
  • Annual Production - approximately 6.5 containers
  • Altitude of plots between 1,000 and 1,300 ftFounded in 1984

Yachil Xojobal Chu’lchan, which means “new light in the sky” in the Tzeltal language, has members from the Tzotzil and Tzeltal Mayan indigenous groups supportive of the Zapatista autonomous movement working towards respect for Indigenous rights. In 2001, Yachil began to organize its first members with 383 producers from the municipalities of Chilon, Pantelho and San Juan Cancuc.

In 2003 Yachil sold its first container to Germany, and in 2004 they sold just over 2 containers to Germany and into the US. They currently are comprised of over 800 members in eight municipalities ( Pantelhó, San Juan Cancuc, Chenalhó, Tenejapa, Chalchihuitán, Aldama (magdalena de La Paz), Simojovel (16 de Febrero) and El Bosque (San Juan de La Libertad)).  They are currently hoping to export 6.5 containers to even different buyers.  Coop Coffees is currently the only American importer.
Members of this cooperative have formed their own local Indigenous governments, which focus on community development efforts to promote democracy, equality, and empowerment. Members do not accept government handouts. Over the last decade members of Yachil have suffered repression at the hands of government security forces and the paramilitary. Many members and their families have been forced to flee their communities as internal refugees and they continue to be victims of oppression, intimidation, and even assassination.

Fast Facts on Maya Vinic

  • Altitude: 900 - 1400 meters
  • Varieties: Typica, Caturra, and Mundo Novo
  • Established in 1999
  • Membership: 500 - approximately 70 women
  • Region: Located in the highlands of Chiapas (Acteal)

The Cooperative "Producers’ Union Maya Vinic" is comprised of some 500 coffee farming families located in 38 highland communities in the municipalities of Chenalhó, Pantelhó and Chalchihuitán, in Chiapas, Mexico. Each member has an average of one hectare and produces an average of 400 kilos of coffee from each plot. Inspired by the traditions of their ancestors, Maya Vinic is organized and operates in keeping with a respect of local culture, language, reverence for the Mother Earth and traditional forms of self-government.

Maya Vinic was born out the wider civil society "Las Abejas”, an organized response to the prevalent injustice in their communities and in the hopes of promoting positive change and autonomous development by pacific means. The plight of their communities came to the public eye in the aftermath of the infamous Acteal Massacre, where 45 men, women and children were killed by paramilitary forces and thousands more displaced from their homes.

The organizational structure of Maya Vinic holds a General Assembly as its maximum authority. An Assembly of Community Delegates works in close conjunction with the Producers’ Board of Directors to accomplish the tasks assigned to the Education, Technical Assistance, Marketing, Administration and local Arbitration and Problem Resolution Committees.

[Rep at Polho] Coffee production is nothing new to the farmers of this region. “Recruited” since the arrival of the plantations in the early 1900s as poorly paid hired hands during the harvest, they learned about production and processing, and the wealth that coffee had made for a fortunate few. Soon, seeds began trickling back to the Highland communities of Chiapas. 

Farmers eventually were able to organize themselves into producer cooperatives in search of more equitable markets. In keeping with this legacy, Maya Vinic has recently been accepted to the FLO register and is in the second year of organic certification.  Cooperative Coffees purchased the first Maya Vinic coffee to be exported under fair trade terms in 2001.

In order to be able to offer a consistently high-quality coffee, raised with care and dignity, the coop offers educational and capacity-building activities focused on sustainable farming techniques and the importance of a strong social economy. As a collective initiative to improve the living situations of their farmers, Maya Vinic understands that in addition to providing a greater economic benefit, the coop works for the dignity and fair treatment of its members through coffee production and marketing.

Learn more about their honey project here!

Fast Facts on Yax

  • Altitude: 780 - 1500 meters
  • Varietals Renovating with resistant varietals: Oro azteca, sarchimor, Catimor, garnica
  • Membership: 1134 members in approximately 60 communities
  • Region: Northern Chiapas, Municipio of Yajalón

All members in this coop are producing organic coffee. They roughly have 1-2 ha of farm land available per member. Member harvest the coffee between January and April each year, and the coffee is ready for shipping starting March. Some farmers conduct the wet processing of their coffee at home. However, most of the coffee is delivered to a central location where a dry mill is available fr processing the coffee. There's a dry mill available to the members of this coop. 

The estimated production is certified for 21,000 quintales, but due La Roya the coop expects to be only prodcucing 12,000 quintales in 2015. This means the average yields have decreased from 10-12qq/ha prior to La Roya, to 5-6qq/ha after Roya hit the farmers.

Please follow the links to puchase Mexican coffee:

This dark roast coffee is sweet, clean, and has hints of vanilla & chocolate.

Michiza  - Sorry, this coffee is currently unavailable
This coffee is sweet, clean and has hints of black tea and caramel with a medium body and acidity.

Yax - Sorry, this coffee is currently unavailable
This coffee is nutty and sweet. With vanilla and hints of apple and herbs - it's very lemony and has a nice clean finish.

Maya Vinic - Sorry, this coffee is currently unavailable
This coffee has a unique and balanced flavour, with soft fruit undertones and a mild acidity.

Yachil - Sorry, this coffee is currently unavailable
A mild coffee from the Mexican Yachil cooperative with hints of lemon zest and honey, with a smooth chocolate flavour.

* photos courtesy of Cooperative coffees - 


Featured Products

Happy summer!! Enjoy a cup of Wilderness Wake Up - this rich blend of organic Fair Trade coffees has dark berry and chocolate notes combined with a nutty and spicy aroma. A wonderful cup of coffee! 

What's Happening

Subscribe to one of our monthly coffee subscriptions! »

We know you love our coffee, and we decided that we want to make it easier for you to always have delicious fair trade coffee in your home. You can now sign up for a coffee subscription - sign up once, and receive four bags of fresh roasted beans each month!

Bean North launches new online store »

Visit the Bean North Coffee Raosting Co. Ltd. online store!


Stay Connected

Subscribe to our eNews

For specials, news, and events!

Newsletter Archive

Email Twitter Facebook RSS