Coopsol is nestled in the arid hills of the Santiago del Estero Province in Northern Argentina. The Province has largely been taken over by conventional agriculture - mainly cotton, soybeans and corn - but the area were Coopsol operates is untouched by this extractive monoculture leaving a pristine environment for bees to thrive. The beekeepers speak Quechua, making them the southernmost speakers of the ancient Incan language. These indigenous farmers and beekeepers have seen their land and way of life threatened. Centuries old communities often do not have formal land deeds or ownership structures. Using their land for verifiable commerce and trade makes it more likely that they will be able to protect their land from seizure.
Coopsol has been harvesting honey since 1992, but in the past, this honey was sold to bulk suppliers at low prices and mixed in with honey of varying quality and purity to be sold in global wholesale markets. Bees for Hope has spent years developing a genuine, trusting relationship with the beekeepers of Coopsol, a honey co-op in the mountains of Northern Argentina. Through this mutually beneficial relationship, Coopsol has seen a xxx% increase in their revenue.
Claudio is the President of APONA since 2016. APONA is the organization that gathers organic producers working with Coopsol. Claudio is a beekeeper since 2007 after being trained by others members of Coopsol. He lives in the community called El Chañar, in the north of Santiago del Estero. Claudio shows skills in particular in leadership and solidarity. Moreover he pays specific attention at including more young people from the region. His dream is that beekeeping one day will be a very economically inclusive and attractive professional activity attracting young farmers to the region.
Rene is a key associate and a co-founder of the Coopsol, he is dedicated to the cooperative since its beginning 1992. He is passionate about honey and local environment preservation and valorization. Originally from Santiago del Estero, he focuses all his energy to develop in particular the organic production and certification of the honey. Rene lives in Santiago del Estero with his wife and two children. Ana, his daughter, has also slowly starting to work in the cooperative, in parallel to finish her university studies.
Luis is a veterinary from El Chaco Province, one of the 3 Argentinian Provinces that we are getting our honey from. Luis joined Coopsol back in 2004 to share expertise about organic certification processes and Fairtrade networks. Moreover he makes an in-depth work in the field, along our various organic producers in El Chaco, in terms of social work. Indeed this particular area faces challenging constraints in terms of infrastructures and access to basic necessities such as electricity and water. Luis lives in the Gran Chaco region in a city called Presidencia Roque Saenz Peña.
Daniel, is the President of Coopsol. He is consensually described as a very sincere and constructively critical person. Daniel holds a deep and long term vision for Coopsol. He has been integrated and active member of it since its beginning. Indeed, Daniel was trained by Coopsol's intern trainee program. President since 2010, his strong positivism is a core strength for the whole team. Furthermore Daniel is the link to Bees For Hope and is part of the Board of Bees For Hope.
The 14 associates of Coopsol come from diverse backgrounds while almost all of them beekeepers. Some of them are part of the adventure since the beginning and others joined later. Their experience gives them expertise in production of high quality honey. They are all strongly committed to share values of cooperation, equality and democracy in decision-making process. The Annual Assembly is the moment when they take the strategic and fundamental decisions for the cooperative.
Coopsol is a cooperative which means that all members and associates make commitments to aggregate their skills and work side by side for a common project. Established in 1992, the company strongly promotes social entrepreneurship and sustainable honey production.