With Fair Trade Fortnight upon us I thought it would be nice to write something positive about a great project that we are supporting at Alfalfa House called Irupana.
Many people have a lot of questions about Fair Trade products like how does it work? And how do people pay for certifications? The beauty of things at the co-op is that we make decisions based on consensus, as a group. This often means that new things and information come to us faster because we cast a wider net and this helps us answer these questions.
With that in mind, a few months ago we started reading a lot about the super grain ‘quinoa’ and some problems that are arising with it. Because it’s fetching such a high price, people in the Andean region have been enticed into selling the entirety of their crop yield. This is a crop that has sustained them for literally thousands of years, and suddenly people are taking the money earned from that grain into the city to buy processed and sugary foods, which is deteriorating health. This is a problem that would not have been planned for. Obviously paying a fair rate seems like the right thing to do, and it is, with a little nuance.
Because it’s fetching such a high price, people in the Andean region have been enticed into selling the entirety of their crop yield. This is a crop that has sustained them for literally thousands of years, and suddenly people are taking the money earned from that grain into the city to buy processed and sugary foods, which is deteriorating health.
Luckily, for every problem there is someone out there working on a solution and we found a beautiful cooperative project happening in Bolivia called Irupana. Iruapana requires each of its growers to retain 10% of their crop yield and sill pays them for that 10%. Not only are they getting a fair wage, but also this way they can keep their traditional diet in tact.
At Alfalfa House we also sell white quinoa that is grown in Tasmania, so whether you are concerned about food miles, or helping people in other places, we’ve got you covered.
What inspires me most in this world is the almost immediate response that springs up to problems. By the time we know there is a problem, more than likely, there is someone out there working to make it better. With the world connected the way it is now, it’s up to each of us to make those connections work in a valuable way. Connecting with each other in order to find solutions to common problems is the challenge of our generation.
For more on Irupana visit: www.irupanabio.com/english/nempresa/2.html
Adam Taylor, Coordinator at Alfalfa House Newtown.