Independent coffee-growers' organizations have continually struggled to get the Mexican government to understand that their policies towards the smallholder coffee sector have not been adequate, since they have been based on the assumption that small farmers are not economically viable. Therefore, CEPCO, along with CNOC, has always placed special interest in the development of public policy proposals originating from and benefiting the coffee sector.
We believe that the problem of small producers is not just one of low productivity, which does exists, but the dead weight of the endless chain of middlemen, the lack of institutional coordination, and the lack of a policy to promote the coffee-growing industry. With the necessary support and cooperation with other producing countries, we can raise the quality of production and strengthen a sector that is always at risk from multiple mechanisms.
We propose a reform of the institutions pertaining to the coffee-growing industry. We insist on the creation of a national body that includes state and even regional agencies, an organization that is more efficient and independent, with greater participation and representation of producers, one that can develop and manage strategic projects for the coffee-growing industry—one that could even serve as a channel for the management of financial resources allocated to coffee sector.
We also demand integrated programs to encourage coffee production, with greater financials resources; programs that promote environmental protection, i.e., that promote sustainable production: shade-grown, "fair market," and organic coffee. Programs that encourage greater domestic consumption of coffee, and which promote the consumption of better-quality Mexican coffee.
CEPCO, and CNOC have been building alliances with other independent rural organizations to promote a fair rural and agricultural policy in Mexico. Therefore, along with AMUCSS, ANEC, CNOC, FCDCH, MAIZ, RED MOCAF, and UNOFOC, we formed the National Council of Peasant Organizations (Consejo Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, CONOC) and have joined together with the following organizations: Mexican Alliance for Self-Determination of Peoples (Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos, AMAP). CONOC, the Plan de Ayala National Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional de Plan de Ayala, CNPA), the National Alliance of Agricultural Producers and Fisheries (Alianza Nacional de Productores Agropecuarios y Pesqueros, ANPAP-El Barzón) and the National Union of Agricultural Workers (Unión Nacional de Trabajadores Agrícolas, UNTA) to coordinate and promote a joint plan of action, in which we propose to "Save the countryside and the peasants in order to save Mexico" by means of a new model of agriculture and food supply.
We are fighting because we acknowledge tht peasant organizations and producers are organizations that serve the public interest of development, based on respect for autonomy and the promotion of processes of self-management and participation.
We believe that this would be one step toward a new relationship with the government, with whom we have demonstrated a continuing commitment to the country.