Raúl del Águila Hidalgo, General Manager of Cocla, sadly passed away on Wednesday 13th February 2013.

Raúl was an inspirational leader of smallholder producers, not only in the Valle de La Convención, Cusco but also in the rest of Peru, Latin America and the world as a whole.

Over the last twenty years, Raúl worked tirelessly on behalf of smallholder farmers, always ensuring that their voice was heard. Raúl was one of Twin Board’s first producer representatives and was key in paving the way of effective producer representation within the fair trade system. He served as a board member on a multitude of boards including FLO International, the Junta Nacional de Café in Peru and CLAC, the fairtrade producer network in Latin America.

Raúl was always approachable and gently spoken but determined in representing smallholders. Willington Wamayeye, Managing Director of Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enteprise Ltd and board member of Twin said the following of Raúl: “You could rub up against him and he had no scales.” John Weaver, Head of Trading at Twin commented: “Raúl always had a naughty twinkle in the eye”.

Twin and the wider fair trade world have lost a true friend and he will be sorely missed. Words do not express our sorrow.

We send our sincerest condolences to Raúl’s family, to the whole Cocla family and to all his friends and colleagues all over the world who will miss him dearly.