Ecuador with Fair Trade Certified
We spent the week in my old, beautiful home of Ecuador with Fair Trade USA surveying & documenting some of the highest quality cacao + rose producing farms in the world
This women-owned farm near Calceta, Ecuador was a slow, peaceful place growing just about everything they could. Mangoes to cacao, coffee & plantains. Serving some delicious fresh squeezed lemonade after we toured the grounds together.
Fortelleza del Valle
Ranked as the only cacao producing farm in Ecuador (a densely cacao producing country) to win the award of excellence at the International Cacao Competition in France last year. Working with chocolate companies like TCHO in San Francisco, they are innovating at a really high level and taking care of their employees + the environment in the process.
Agrocoex Rose Farm
Diego and the team at Agrocoex hosted us for a day and showed us the inner-workings and processes that go into growing, packaging, and shipping some of the world's most desired roses. Easily the most impressive part of this facility was the Fair Trade Premium that the workers had leveraged to build a laundry center, dentist & doctor office, and a beautiful neighborhood housing project open to employees. The dentist & doctor are not only available to the employees, but also to the surrounding villages.
Agrocoex Premium Housing Project
A glimpse into what will eventually be a 100 home community of 2-3 bedroom houses for the employees of Agrocoex. At the time of our visit (July 2018) around 34 homes were completed with only a few occupied, but they were anticipating many more occupants in the coming months. Residents will essentially have the opportunity to buy-in to the community at cost with subsidized financing available through local institutions. Many workers currently live in very poor conditions, some of which homes with dirt-floors, so this is truly an opportunity for a huge quality of life improvement.