We are very happy to announce the arrival of a delicious, new, Fair-Trade certified and cooperatively produced wine: La Riojana.
Located in the Argentine province of La Rioja, a prime grape growing region of the world, La Riojana is a cooperative winery made up of small grape producers. The co-op supports over 500 members, many of whom have vineyards that are smaller than eight acres. The members grow the grapes and then sell their harvest at a guaranteed price to their cooperatively owned winery, which makes the wine and sells it around the world.
The co-op offers their members many benefits on top of assuring the growers a market for their grapes. Through the cooperative, members can get access to credit, an emergency fund, profit distribution, free technical assistance, economies of scale for the purchase of supplies including diesel, and even collective frost insurance.
“We have proved to ourselves that by doing something seemingly small we can make a huge impact and can really change people’s lives and the way they live. Our dream has finally started to become a reality and now we want to do much more. Fair Trade works!”
La Riojana Export Director
La Riojana wines are certified Fair Trade - in fact, they were the first winery in Argentina to achieve Fair Trade certification! Profits from the sale of the wine go back into the communities where the grapes are grown. The cooperative is working to support their small growers in becoming certified organic with a goal to get certification for as many as possible. Once this is achieved, the Co-op will move on to installing solar panels and water pumps in their growers’ communities to increase sustainable access to electricity and fresh water. La Riojana has also invested in expanding educational opportunities and the building of a health clinic that will serve over 10,000 people in the region.
In a cooperative, money that flows back in to the community is not charity, it is self-help. The co-op supports the farmers in getting access to the services and infrastructure that they need because that is the purpose for which the cooperative was formed in the first place. The investment in community is the real and full result of the cooperative labor and investment put in by the members.
Cooperative Principle #6 is Cooperation Among Cooperatives, and we are thrilled to be able to support the great cooperators at La Riojana and contribute to building the global co-op economy!
Now available at the Co-op from La Riojana:
Date: Friday March 04, 2016
Category: Producer Stories
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