A Mayan coffee producers association, Associación de Productores Orgánicos Para el Desarrollo Integral del Polochic (APODIP) is located in the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve in eastern Guatemala.
With support from ForesTrade Guatemala (FTG), the local subsidiary of Verde Ventures’ long-term partner ForesTrade Inc
, APODIP´s 800 members have received technical assistance, training, and infrastructure improvements resulting in successful exports of organic and fair trade-certified coffee as part of FTG's Biosphere Coffee Program.
Verde Ventures approved an investment in February 2006 for APODIP for working capital for the 2005-2006 harvest.
This project engages indigenous Mayan communities by promoting economic incentives for agroforestry in the buffer zone of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve within the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot.
This 242,642-hectare reserve is home to 885 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, which represent 70 percent of all species in Belize and Guatemala. Some of these species include the Vulnerable Persea schiedeana, Quercus purulhana, and Cornus disciflora and Endangered Parathesis vulgata.
APODIP members grow coffee in a manner that is consistent with the protection of the reserve and improves the management of the adjacent buffer zone.