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Archive for October, 2016

10 months later… An update on Covilli’s Fair Trade Program

From the desk of Iris Madrigal, Marketing Manager Covilli Brand Organics.

It seems like yesterday when we announced loud and clear that we had obtained our Fair Trade Certification. Having the Fair Trade seal makes official to our customers what they can’t see for themselves in regards to our fair and decent behavior as employers: safe working conditions, access to healthcare and education for workers’ children; regulated working hours as well as rest and sick days.

25 years after our founder Terry Poiriez began this journey, Covilli Brand Organics is being run by second generation successors who continue to fulfill his legacy of integrity and equitability that are Covilli’s core values.

Covilli Fair Trade Banner with only logos

The way we treat our land, our customers and more specifically our employees, reflects on our Organic, Food Safety and Fair Trade Certifications.

Covilli has a deep commitment to the Fair Trade program and employees, to show for it, we chose to sell EVERYTHING as Fair Trade only which might make us the first and only grower-shipper who is 100% Organic AND Fair Trade.

Buying ANY of Covilli’s Fair Trade products is an easy way to support the hard-working people who grow the products that you love. At only few extra cents per pound-the Fair Trade Premium-will allow for democratically chosen projects to become a reality in our farm worker communities; this is empowerment through decision making: “what is the best for all of us?” and “how can we achieve it?”

What can we report 10 months after our Fair Trade Certification?

Well, we are extremely grateful for our customers, who are more like partners that have wholeheartedly supported our Fair Trade program and efforts. Premiums rolled in and add up to $250,000.00 dollars!!! This money is in possession of our farmworkers’ Association – “Nuchi Sansekan” in their zapoteco indigenous language, means All Together.

The first step towards investing the Fair Trade premium, that being the money collected, is to evaluate the worker’s specific needs through a “Basic Needs Evaluation”. The evaluation’s main objective is to provide useful information that helps identify specific needs and therefore, precise use for the Premium.  Covilli is in the process of gathering the opinions and needs of every single employee. The Fair Trade Premium can positively impact and transform the livelihood of our farmworkers and their families and the Basic Needs Evaluation is the first best step.

Covilli is starting their 2016-17 season; we are expanding and incorporating new projects that will allow us to provide a better service for you. As our slogans say: we are Growing Quality by Tradition. Make your purchase count and support farmworker empowerment.

Truly Organic, Truly Fair and Truly Grateful.

Avocados Back In Stores After Strike

We have good news! After 2 weeks of labor disputes the Mexican avocado strike is officially over. Crews were back picking on Saturday, October 15th and a large supply of avocados is finally crossing the border. You can expect to see all sizes of avocados in stores this weekend.  Keep in mind that this is new crop and the fruit will be green and could take up to a week to ripen.  Read more about the avocado strike here.

avocado-hass

Side Hill Satsumas Arriving Soon

We are less than 2 weeks away from the arrival of the first crop of the coveted Side Hill Satsuma mandarins!  Side Hill Citrus in Lincoln, CA, located in the Sacramento foothills, has the best Satsuma Mandarins in our opinion.

As Fourth generation farmer Rich Ferreira waits for the Satsumas to dry out from the recent rains, he continues to walk the orchards every day checking the fruit for color and flavor. You can be sure that the Side Hill Satsuma Mandarins will have a good balance of tart and sweet from the first picking.  As the season progresses they will only get sweeter.

Satsumas peel effortlessly, making it the perfect on the go snack for both kids and adults.  As the weather continues to get colder Satsumas are the ultimate cold buster. Eat four or five Satsumas a day to receive six to seven times as much synephrine, a natural decongestant, as other citrus. Plan to stock up in November and December because the season usually ends the beginning of January.

Satsuma tree cropped

Fuyu and Hachiya Persimmons

Bright orange Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons have arrived along with the cooler weather and it finally feels like fall.  There are several species of persimmons but the most common is the Japanese or Oriental persimmon, also called the D. Kaki species.  In Japan they are the national fruit and called Kaki.  There are at least six varieties of the Asian persimmon but the Fuyu and the Hachiya are the most commonly grown in the United States. The season starts up in October and can continue into January, weather dependent.

California produces almost 100% of the persimmon crop in the United States with over half of the persimmons grown in Tulare and Fresno counties. The other main areas are Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties and a very small amount are grown in Sutter and Placer counties north of Sacramento.

The two varieties eat very different. The Hachiya is tapered like an acorn and has a bright reddish orange skin. It is extremely astringent and bitter when firm.  If eaten when still firm it will leave a fuzzy unpleasant feeling in your mouth. The Hachiya needs to be jelly soft before it becomes edible. When the fruit has become very soft scoop out the flesh and use it in cakes, cookies, muffins and smoothies.  My favorite recipe is the James Beard persimmon bread.

hachiya-persimmons

Hachiya persimmons are elongated and tapered like an acorn

Fuyu’s are short, squat and non-astrigent and when ripe they have a sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon and apricot.   You can eat them raw when they are firm or soft and they do not need to be peeled.  Fuyu’s can be eaten like an apple, cut up and eaten on their own. You may sometimes find a few seeds inside but they are easy to eat around. I like combining pomegranate arils with Fuyu slices in a colorful Fall fruit salad.

fuyu-persimmon-seasonal-eats

Fuyu persimmons are short and squat

How to store:
Persimmons unlike many fruits will keep longer if left at room temperature.  Once they are in the refrigerator they will go soft faster and will need to be eaten quickly. Look for persimmons with smooth skin and no bruising. Persimmons are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and fiber and full of antioxidants.

Cool fact: 
The light colored, fine-grained wood from a persimmon tree is used to make billiard cues, drum sticks, golf clubs and furniture.

October is Fair Trade Month

Coliman Organic Fair Trade bananas are on special all month long. Buying Fair Trade products ensures that farm workers enjoy sustainable wages, safe working conditions and improves their community by collectively investing in social and business projects such as providing health care, scholarships and leadership training.

coliman-ft-man-carrying-bananas-pos-card-5x7

 

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