CADO logo, featuring organic sugarcane against a blue sky


About CADO

CADO is a community enterprise formed of sugarcane farmers who produce organic, fair trade alcohol and whole cane sugar.
Sugarcane has traditionally been farmed in the steep hills of Bolivar and Cotopaxi provinces in Ecuador.  A handful of big businesses dominate the sugar market, so most families use their sugar cane to produce a potent form of alcoholic drink known as aguardiente.  It's a low-value product.  The families need to work all week to make a small tankful that sells for as little as $60 up to $90 in the fluctuating local market.  In this area of extreme poverty, there are few other options.
Since 2000, CRACYP has provided training and appropriate technology to make the process more efficient, supported organic farming and better environmental practices, and helped 36 communities organise themselves into a cooperative, CADO (formed in 2003).  CRACYP helped with technology for purification and now the cooperative can purify the crude, 65aguardiente up to 70o for medicinal use as an antiseptic or even 96.3for use as potable alcohol for making liqueurs. 
CADO pays its members a fair price for their organic alcohol and they also receive a share of any profits.  A 'social premium' from fair trade sales goes into community projects.  Some of the younger members are receiving training in marketing and quality control and we hope to provide salaried employment in the future.  More communities are in the process of joining CADO, so over 250 families now have the chance to fight poverty without losing their traditional way of life or destroying the environment.
Organic farming is helping to conserve the local eco-system.  CADO has organic certification (Kiwa BCS Öko-Garantie) and are currently working towards a new fair trade certification with them.  We provide organic alcohol to Dr. Bronner's in the United States for soaps and other products - see their representative's report of his fair trade sourcing visit.
CADO is happy to hear from potential buyers for organic alcohol on a fair trade basis.  More markets for organic, community-produced alcohol would mean we could help even more families to protect the environment; to receive a fair price for their hard work; and to ensure that their children don't have to work after school.  Contact cadoventas1("at") to buy fairly-traded organic alcohol.
As with all CRACYP's sustainable development projects, there is an element of reforestation: CRACYP "retains" from the communities a small percentage of their extra income and return it to them in the form of tree seedlings for planting in the local area.  
Volunteers and interns in sustainable development may be able to help with technology transfer or environmental projects in CADO's communities.  See how to make alcohol from sugar cane.

CADO - Processing organic sugar cane into alcohol using appropriate technology,
adding value to the local economy and encouraging organic production for fair trade.
A Green Progress organic farming project from CRACYP.
CRACYP logo - a tree
CADO organic sugarcane, growing up to 5 metres high
CADO pays its members a fair price for their organic alcohol.Appropriate technology for meeting organic certification requirements for alcohol.
CADO president Cecilia Arcos with organic sugarcane
CADO alcohol producers