roya-photo-1-mexican-farmerA three-year Responsible Sourcing Partnership brought together the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Walmart Foundation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., SEBRAE — Minas Gerais, and Fair Trade USA to link 12 cooperatives representing more than 30,000 Brazilian coffee farmers with mass market coffee consumers in the U.S. through Fair Trade Certified products. With contributions from all partners totaling over $2 million, the project provided thousands of farmers with training in cooperative governance, harvest, and processing best practices, quality evaluation, and organic conversion, as well as grants for infrastructure upgrades. The goal was to integrate micro and small enterprise coffee producers in Brazil into global markets through expanding and improving the quality of supply, increasing producer capacity, and raising the marketing capacity of Brazilian coffee growers from Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Bahia States. By the end of the project term, farmers and cooperatives had the advanced skills necessary to meet market demand for high volumes of Fair Trade Certified coffee, enabling significant advances in the Brazilian specialty coffee market.