A Letter from Julia Baumgartner, Cooperative Development Program Manager, Equal Exchange.
Hey everyone, I wanted to share a little glimmer of good news from Finca Triunfo Verde in Chiapas, Mexico. We’ve been in close communication these last few weeks as the Covid-19 outbreak was just beginning. Our CDP team cancelled our trip and returned home, and we have watched as our partners have stepped up to support their communities in these hard times.
In Mexico, prices of local goods have spiked and the government has implemented a Stay at Home campaign. The cooperatives are responding with purchasing food and basic goods in bulk and distributing to their membership to help them get by for two weeks. They used their fair trade premium from EE (~$20,000).
Here’s a message from Hugo Lares, general manager:
“With the commitment to join the Stay at Home campaign to prevent the spread of the pandemic caused by Covid 19, in Triunfo Verde, we implemented our Family Support Initiative. With resources from the fair trade premium (Equal Exchange) we were able to provide food for two weeks for 490 members in order to keep them at home, and protect the most vulnerable people and prevent the spread of the virus. We have also provided information on how to apply adequate measures to avoid the disease, and a kit with basic medicine in case they experience any symptoms. This initiative was led by our managers and administration, in coordination with the Community Delegates.”
The cooperatives are proving to be important networks within their communities to supply resources and information to those that need it most. Be well, everyone!