About — Monteverde Food Cooperative
D-Lab WaSH 2019 — Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde, home of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and referred to as "the jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves” by National Geographic, is a major hub for ecotourism in Costa Rica. Not only does it attract many tourists, but it is also home to a small community who prides themselves on being sustainable and protecting the unique ecosystem that surrounds them. With a large influx of approximately 200,000 tourist visiting the area yearly, supplying the restaurants, hotels, and groceries with fresh local food is a major concern for the community. The Monteverde community plans to address this concern by establishing a farmers cooperative for the community. Fabricio Camacho requested from the UC Davis D-Lab Civil and Environmental Engineering students to conduct a feasibility study for implementing an organic farmer’s market cooperative. Ideally this cooperative will provide local, fresh, and organic food for the local community to improve the sustainability of food production/sources in the area and the health of the community.
This study was broken into four parts in order to provide sufficient information regarding the environmental, social, technical, and economic components necessary to implement this cooperative. To determine the feasibility of this cooperative, the land available and current agricultural practices, the best model for the cooperative, and the social impacts associated with the implementation of successful cooperatives were investigated and are addressed. The ultimate feasibility for the implementation of a cooperative in the Monteverde area based on these factors is determined.