Cooperativa Manduvira Ltda.

Cooperativa de Producción Agro-Industrial Manduvirá Ltda, known as Manduvirá, is a sugar cane cooperative located in the village of Arroyos y Esteros, in the southwestern region of Paraguay.
The cooperative was founded as a savings and credit cooperative in 1975 by a group of teachers and agricultural workers to help its members access credit without the bureaucracy of bank loans and to work together to improve their community. As well as organic sugar, its 1,750 members produce organic sesame, cotton, fruit and vegetables.

Cooperativa Manduvira Ltda.

Las Palmas No 627 y Fidel Maiz
Arroyos y Esteros
Paraguay

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Manduvirá Co-operative

Manduvirá Co-operative was Fairtrade certified in 1999. The cooperative creates access to markets for local farmers, enabling them to receive fair prices for their produce.
Before the cooperative was Fairtrade certified, its members harvested their sugar cane then sold it to a local mill for processing. By 2014, they had gained the knowledge and skills to build their own mill to process the cane into sugar and export it directly themselves. The cooperative now exports almost all of its annual production of 20,000 tonnes of sugar to Fairtrade clients in 18 countries.

For Manduvirá, an important element of Fairtrade is the option for advance payment of 60 per cent of sales contracts. This enables the cooperative to finance production and pay farmers without taking out expensive bank loans.

A share of the Fairtrade Premium is distributed equally among members to invest in farm improvements or home improvements such as indoor bathrooms. Business and community projects that have been financed with the Fairtrade Premium funds include:

  • A new health centre, with a medical team, dentist, optician and laboratory services. It is available to the whole community, and the only one in the region.
  • School uniforms and kits containing pencils, notebooks, rucksacks. Courses for children in computers, languages, art, music, and dance.
  • Running a savings and credit scheme.
  • Agricultural support and training services.
  • Purchase of a tractor and plough that cooperative members can hire at a third of the market rate.
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