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Equal Exchange Fair Trade Avocados Pragor Co-op Michoacan, Mexico

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In September of 2013, Equal Exchange imported their first container of Fair Frade organic avocados from PRAGOR, a producer coop in Michoacan, Mexico. Equal Exchange visited them that summer and saw the challenges they were facing as small-scale producers, despite the increase in demand for avocados from Mexico. The stories they shared demonstrated the need for a trade model that is drastically different from the way conventional Mexican avocados are grown and exported.

PRAGOR is a cooperative of 20 producer members who each own an average of 10 acres of land, all 100% organic. Many of the members transitioned to organic 15 or more years ago, a revolutionary move at the time. At Equal Exchange, we have seen that when farmers own their own land, they are more likely to take measures to ensure the environmental sustainability of the land. Owning land is inherently more empowering than working as a laborer on a plantation and provides producers with greater economic security and opportunity.

Equal Exchange believes that a truly transformative model includes:

1. Farmers owning their own land.
2. Small-scale farmers having access to the global marketplace.
3. Having the real cost of food reflected in consumer prices.
4. Connecting consumers with producers around transparent supply chains.

Alfredo Huerto Pragor Cooperative

Alfredo Huerto Avocado Grower and member of the Pragor Cooperative. Alfredo owns 8 hectares of land and lives on the land with this 3 children, wife, brothers and father. The land has been passed down through his family for many generations. They originally farmed maize(corn) on the land, and transitioned to avocados 20 years ago.  He and another Pragor member Ruben, transitioned their farms to grow organically 17 years ago, a very progressive decision at the time in Mexico. His decision to transition to organic production was inspired by the birth of his first daughter, as well as the wish for the family and community to live in a less toxic environment. Alfredo manages the farm for this family. It is a lush and beautiful farm in the mountains near Uruapan.

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