La Union Regional de Pequeños Productores de Cafe Huatusco (or, La Union Regional) is a member-owned, Fair Trade Certified coffee cooperative based in the state of Veracruz, a region defined by high- altitude coffee production. Today, it has more than 2,000 members in over 40 communities. Most are small farmers with less than 5 hectares of land. 

La Union Regional is one of the few coffee cooperatives in Veracruz that has earned Fair Trade certification. It ensures that members
are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and earn community development funds to empower and improve their community. La Union is also one of the few in Mexico to own its own coffee processing plant that gathers, processes, and exports coffee for its members.

Kiva lenders can make loans to coffee growers who belong to La Union Regional. Three types of loans appear on the Kiva website:


1) Coffee production loans to help farmers expand their existing crop yields and increase their income. With a maximum term of 12 months, these loans are designed to fit the agricultural cycle, allowing farmers to make purchases during planting season and repay following the harvest. Coffee production loans help farmers maintain and grow their fields by cleaning, pruning, fertilizing, and conserving the grounds, delivering water, and replanting trees needed to shade the coffee plants.

2) Organic conversion loans help farmers transition from conventional to organic coffee production methods. Farmers cite high costs as the main barrier to converting to organic production. With Kiva loans, they have a great opportunity to use sustainable practices that help the environment and limit the effects of climate change in their regions. Given the length of the conversion process, farmers have the option to utilize loans that have three- to five-year terms.

3) Field renewal loans help farmers swap out their old coffee plants that are no longer
producing at capacity for new plants. New plants generally take three years to produce at capacity, temporarily reducing crop yield. Given the length of the renewal process, farmers have the option to utilize loans that have three- to five-year terms.

For the organic conversion loans and the field renewal loans, borrowers will pay interest only for the first two years and pay principal beginning in the third year.

All three types of loans help La Union Regional farmers smooth their finances throughout the year, insulating them and their families from unexpected expenses like medical bills, home repairs, and more. In addition to loans, La Union Regional provides additional technical support to its members receiving loans to help them achieve their long-term coffee production goals.

La Union Regional is enthusiastically backed by Fair Trade USA and Green Mountain CoffeeRoasters, one of the world’s largest purchasers of Fair Trade coffee. Kiva lenders can purchase coffee produced by La Union Regional’s members through Green Mountain and its subsidiary brands, including Tully’s Coffee.

Because La Union Regional’s core business is not microfinance, there is some level of additional risk for lenders. Kiva’s partnership with La Union Regional is unique and unprecedented. For this reason, Kiva has not assigned the organization a risk rating.


Kiva HelpRepayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Apr 27, 2012 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $331,675 $538,432,075
Amount of Raised Inactive Loans $0 $319,600
Number Of Raised Inactive Loans 0 243
Amount of Paying Back Loans $174,175 $110,295,425
Number Of Paying Back Loans 231 113,938
Amount of Ended Loans $157,500 $427,817,050
Number Of Ended Loans 203 549,600
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 3.35%
Amount In Arrears $0 $2,392,132
Outstanding Portfolio $174,175 $71,413,577
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 10,630
Default Rate 0.00% 1.01%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $4,334,868
Amount of Ended Loans $157,500 $427,817,050
Number Of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 14,050
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.06%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $298,028
Refund Rate 7.11% 0.82%
Amount of Refunded Loans $23,575 $4,417,000
Number Of Refunded Loans 44 4,864

Kiva HelpLoan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans To Women Entrepreneurs 24.90% 74.09%
Average Loan Size $743 $417
Average Individual Loan Size $743 $656
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,813
Average Number Of Entrepreneurs Per Group 0 8
Average GDP Per Capita (PPP) in Local Country $11,249 $3,463
Average Loan Size / GDP Per Capita (PPP) 6.61% 12.05%
Average Time To Fund A Loan 4.69 days 5.29 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $158.38 $78.96
  Average Loan Term 7.58 months 10.05 months

Kiva HelpJournaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 137 268,567
  Journaling Rate 67.16% 42.09%
  Average Number Of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.09
  Average Number Of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 2.06

Kiva HelpBorrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2011 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI Peers in Country All Kiva Partners
  Portfolio Yield N/A N/A 34.93%
  Profitability (Return on Assets) N/A N/A -1.11%
  Average Loan Size (% of Per Capita Income) N/A 3.30% 42.70%

Kiva HelpCountry Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Josafat Leopoldo Hernández González
Rafael Lara
Gabriela Romero
Alejandro Zarate Mirón