Monday, April 2, 2012

Spreading Economic Development

In the Huanuco region of Peru, most people cultivate and live off of the potato. But the market price for potatoes is quite low and unstable, and thus it is difficult for villagers to move beyond subsistence conditions. In 2009, two young entrepreneurs. Roger and Violeta began with a big vision – to promote economic development in their villages.

Violeta began by selling her mother’s artisanal sauco, or elderberry, marmalade in Lima while getting a higher education. Roger’s education landed him a job with a local non-profit working with villagers to produce elderberry wine. 

The two met and decided to take their work further. By introducing both sauco and aquaymanto (goldenberry), both native species, to their communities, and training the farmers in organic cultivation methods, they have been able to increase the income to these families significantly. 

They purchase the resulting crops at fair prices and produce fruit spreads and other products for the national gourmet markets. And with Culinary Collective they hope to make inroads into the US market and thus expand their purchasing needs and ability to reach many more families.

The company works in association with two non-profits, Aprovif and Apacarma, and farmers in the communities of Huayllacán and Cancejos. They offer technical support to their farmers, organic certification, and a secure market. In addition, the reintroduction of these crops is helping to reverse deforestation in their communities. They are awaiting organic certification.

The two whole fruit spreads made with organic raw sugar are unique and delicious.

Elderberry Fruit Spread is a deep rich sauce with the delectable crunch of whole “sauco” or elderberries. It is a unique spread for toast or paired with cheese and is also great as a cooking sauce. 

Goldenberry Fruit Spread has the unique sweet and sour tang of whole and ground aguaymanto, or goldenberries. It pairs well with cheese, meats, and pastries and also makes a wonderful cooking sauce or glaze.

We're proud to import both of these spreads to the U.S., and thus help support individuals and communities that are working towards a better way of life.