In Mexico, the small-scale producer of coffee tied to traditional and organic farming, are fighting a battle against two large multinational companies: the Swiss Nestlé, a global leader in the food industry and Agroindustrias Unidas de México (AMSA), which controls about 50% of exports of the country.
Nestlé has acquired a patent on a genetically improved plant that facilitates the solubility of the coffee powder. Thanks to this license, the company will not only expand its control over the coffee producers, but will also increase the risk of genetic contamination on the organic plantations, of which Mexico is the first manufacturer in the world. The granted patent poses a serious threat to the economy of more than 480,000 farming families and about 500 rural and indigenous organizations that are depending on the coffee.
CESMACH puts together 491 affiliates in 32 different rural communities of Chiapas, which means lives of nearly 500 families depending on their work.
CESMACH farmers, facing lots of difficulties, carry forward organic farming, abiding to a strict set of rules meant to protect the fragile environment of the biosphere.
In agreement with the Mexican government and AMSA, Nestlé has invested over the past five years 600 million dollars in Mexico, where several areas intended use is coffee production: e.g. Veracruz, the mountains of the state of Oaxaca and Chiapas, where the altitudes and a mild climate provide ideal conditions for the coffee production.