COPROPAP (Cooperativa Productores de Panela El Paraiso) is located in Northern Ecuador, in the area of Chocó Andino de Pichincha, which in 2018 got designated as Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
COPROPAP was founded in 1991 on the initiative of some families who had been growing sugarcane for generations. Today the cooperative groups 49 small-scale sugarcane growers, living in ten rural communities (barrios). In 30 years of activity, the cooperative succeeded in becoming a textbook example of application of agro-ecology management for the benefit of an entire community. During their journey, they got in touch with EFTA’s affiliate Altromercato and started exporting panela sugar via a local partner (1995), obtained the organic certification and gradually managed to export directly. Today the cooperative manages independently all stages of the production of its cane sugar.