is a community enterprise formed of sugarcane farmers who produce
organic, fair trade alcohol and whole cane sugar.
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 this area of extreme poverty, there are few other options.
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
can purify the crude, 65o aguardiente
up to 70o
medicinal use as an antiseptic or
even 96.3o for
use as potable alcohol for making liqueurs.
its members a fair price for their organic alcohol and they
also receive a share of any
'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.
farming is helping to conserve the local eco-system.
CADO has organic
certification (Kiwa BCS
Öko-Garantie) and are currently
towards a new fair
certification with them. We
Dr. Bronner's in the United States for soaps and other products - see
their representative's report of his fair
trade sourcing visit.
is happy to hear from potential buyers for organic
alcohol on a fair trade basis.
More markets for
community-produced alcohol would mean we could help even more families
protect the environment; to receive a fair price for their hard work;
to ensure that their children don't have to work
after school. Contact cadoventas1("at")gmail.com
buy fairly-traded organic alcohol.
with all CRACYP's sustainable development projects, there is an element
of reforestation: CRACYP "retains" from the communities a small
their extra income and return it to them in the form of tree seedlings
for planting in the local area.
organic sugar cane into alcohol using appropriate technology,
value to the
local economy and encouraging organic production for fair trade.
Progress organic farming project from CRACYP.