15 April, 2020

Fairtrade organizations in Peru support their communities during COVID-19 crisis


On March 16th, the government of Peru declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, which was followed by a quarantine. The state of emergency includes the closure of borders, a halt of trade activities except for the production, import and export of food, as well as restrictions on the mobility of people, except for workers of banking, medical and health entities.

Peru had 1,414 infected of coronavirus, 55 deaths and 537 recovered until April 3rd.

Despite the fact that the central government arranged to provide subsidies to support the population with the most limited resources, they have not reached the entire population that needs them. Thus, the Amazonas Alto Mayo Producers Association (APROMAYO) and the Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples (ADISA), both Fairtrade coffee producers, located in the department of San Martín, Peru, took the initiative to support their communities and memberships, each in its coverage area.

The APROMAYO team has coordinated with commercial stores, young entrepreneurs, the Association of Ecological Coffee Producers of Alto Mayo (APECAM) and the Santa Rosa Elderly Association to assemble food supply kits that included rice, oil, noodles, sugar, milk and canned food to distribute them mostly among the elderly of the community. On the first occasion, they distributed 50 food provisions obtained with the Fairtrade premium and 30 additional provisions that were donated by other institutions at the local level.

APROMAYO is planning another distribution of food provisions for the 250 producers who are part of the organization. The board of directors, lead by the organization´s president, Joseph Ríos Vásquez, is arranging the distribution to the membership.

On the other hand, ADISA has also been using the Fairtrade premium to distribute 50 food provisions to the organization´s members.

Both Fairtrade organizations in Peru have demonstrated their solidarity in times of crisis. Leydi Requejo Alfaro, APROMAYO´s commercial manager, expressed, "from Fairtrade we learned that the social and environmental criteria are fundamental fo become better persons each day."