Alter EcoNourishing Foodie, Farmer and Field

Acopagro Cooperative (Cacao)

Nestled along the river Huayabamba at the edge of the Peruvian Amazon, the farmers of Acopagro Co-op survey a landscape that’s entirely different than it was 15 years ago.  In 1994, a United Nations program made it possible for these farmers to begin replacing their illegal coca crops (used to make cocaine) with cocoa, releasing them from an oppressive, volatile and often dangerous relationship with drug traffickers. To learn more about Acopagro, click here.  

 

Fair Trade Means

  • microcredit lending program implemented for farmers

  • training and technical support of producers by Acopagro agronomists – 2 or 3 technicians to assist members

  • training on health and safety measures

  • investment in fermentation modules

  • nutrition campaign

  • additional income and long-term revenue diversification through sustainably harvested lumber 

  • over 2 million native trees planted in order to replenish the forest canopy, protect against soil erosion, and preserve the fragile ecosystem

 

Alter Trade Cooperative (Sugar)

On the island of Negros, nicknamed “sugar island” for its abundance of cane fields, very few farmers own the land they tend. Since 1987, ALTER TRADE Cooperative has been working to change that, creating a system to redistribute profits from sugar cultivation to small producers so that they can earn a living wage and purchase their own plots. Today, the coop includes 17 different farmer groups and two sugar mills, and stands as a shining example of sustainable business and environmental practices.  To learn more about Alter Trade, click here.

Alter Trade Farmer

Fair Trade Means

  • 300% increase in worker income

  • a generation of farmers’ children attending university

  • self-sufficient families who are able to grow their own food and raise their own livestock

  • access to credit and long term financial planning

  • increasing women’s roles in the local economy

  • a new mill that increases yields by 30%

  • a potable water system

  • infrastructure for direct export

 

 

Anapqui Cooperative (Quinoa)

Our quinoa is proudly cultivated by the 1,100 member farmers of the ANAPQUI Cooperative, established in 1983. Harvesting by hand in some of the harshest conditions in the world, these subsistence farmers benefit from a living wage thanks to Fair Trade practices, and with an on-site processing plant, they also reap the profits of direct exporting. The group focuses on empowering farmers to sustain their environment through certified organic farming and traditional cultivation techniques.  To learn more about Anapqui, click here.  

Quinoa farmer

 

Fair Trade Means

  • 3,640 metric tons of quinoa, sold at a profit

  • 2,675 jobs for Bolivians

  • running water and sanitation in 15 villages

  • the region’s first high school and healthcare clinic

  • the finest quinoa in the WORLD

 

Recent quinoa newslearn about the impact of Alter Eco quinoa

 

Fortaleza Cooperative (Cacao)

imageFounded in 2005 with the aim of improving the living conditions of small-scale cocoa producers, Ecuador’s Fortaleza Cooperative made it their first priority to gain technical training in production and post harvest management. Now that the farmers have diversified and productive plantations that include cacao, banana, coconut and timber,they are working to catalyze their business.

The co-op fosters international collaboration to consistently improve product quality while increasing yields and attracting new partnerships. To learn more about Fortaleza, click here.   

Fair Trade Means

  • micro credits, used mainly in pre-financing of harvest

  • technical support with in-house staff of agronomists and agro-technicians

  • centrally managed, shared production utilities for all members to have access to. This includes things such as water pumps for irrigation or pruning tools

  • mortuary fund to help cover the high expenses, in case of death of family members

  • financial support for local and social structures 

 

 

FTAK (Coconut Oil)

Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) was founded in 2005 and has already more than 3,500 members. FTAK draws its membership and character from mass movements of farmers in Kerala, struggling against farmers’ indebtedness. FTAK farmers grow a host of tropical products such as cashews, coconut palms, coffee, cocoa, pepper, nutmeg, vanilla and other spices on their small plots. The mixed crop plantations play an important role in preserving local biodiversity and, at the same time, safeguarding the food security of the farming members.

Farmers of FTAK take pride, not only in providing food security within their community, but also in helping to preserve the wildlife in the land they share.  For more information on Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, click here.  You can also find them on Facebook.

 

Coconut harvest

Fair Trade Means

  • preservation of traditional farming methods and protection  of wildlife 

  • sustainable farming methods, such as ”jaiva krishi” which mimics the virgin rainforest, so birds, squirrels and even elephants can roam freely. 

  • farmer ownership of cooperative and democratic decision making 

 

SURIN Cooperative (Rice)

The 400 farmers of SURIN Cooperative tend their small plots – often as little as three acres – with a mix of ancestral knowledge and modern standards. Since the mid 90‘s, the group has been working to develop an alternative agricultural system that promotes sustainable livelihoods, community food security and environmental conservation. Training, particularly in organic methods, is a lifelong process, and one they promote throughout the region. Thanks to close collaboration with Alter Eco, three new co-ops in Surin province are joining the fray.   

Fair Trade Means

  • no pesticide-related illnessesimage

  • children attending school in 9 villages

  • a social security program for co-op members

  • new facilities to increase profitability

  • protection of natural waters, virgin forest and other ecosystems

  • the “Smiley Garbage” project, which takes food waste from Surin city and turns it into organic compost for use by SFS members

  • a “Kids Love Nature” group in Tabthai village, where children meet to learn about their local environment and the farming practices of their parents

  • ancient, nutritious and delicious rice varietals for a new generation to discover