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This Co-operatives Fortnight is about celebrating the difference that co-operative’s make to people’s lives around the world. Here’s how our co-operative in Argentina works together with the UK’s largest to support communities around the world.

When I found Tilimuqui, a village in northwestern Argentina over 10 years ago, it had none of the basic needs for a village to survive. I was committed to supporting the community through the sales of the wine our La Riojana co-operative produced in the region, but the resources were limited. It wasn’t until we began to work with the Co-op and they helped us become Fairtrade certified that things began to change.

The power of co-operation transformed the village

Our first project with Co-op was to bring clean water to Tilimuqui which was needed for the animals and crops to survive. Once we completed that we started to build a secondary school which opened in 2010.

Thanks to our close relationship with the Co-op, they were able to provide funding beyond the Fairtrade Premium which enabled us to finish the project in 5 years instead of 10. Since then we’ve seen students go on to be engineers and teachers which has been truly inspirational to our village.

“It changed their lives and the entire dynamics of the village, the village has a new lease of life and the children have broader expectations” Giselle Carril, School Governor

The next project will help 10,000 people and five villages

Currently 10,000 people have no access to healthcare but through the fantastic sales of our wine and the support from the Co-op we have started to build a medical centre. In 2-3 years the clinic should be complete and five villages will finally have access to the healthcare they need.

The Co-op difference

Co-op has given the village the tools to build their own future through the power of co-operation and Fairtrade and we’re proud that our story is continued in communities all over the UK.
By buying Co-op products, Co-op Members not only support communities around the world, but they support communities locally in the UK too through their Local Community Fund.

Walter Carol
Export Director of La Riojana

Read more about how co-operation helps communities around the world;

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi Co-op, I think thius shows where you need to be to get palm oil sorted,

    Major palm oil industry players are meeting in Paris today to decide the future of so-called “sustainable” certified palm oil.
    Now is a critical moment for us to flood Twitter and appear full screen on the RSPO’s live tweet broadcast, forcing it to act.

    Please, will you join me in tweeting at the RSPO about protecting our rainforest from destruction?



    I’m writing to you from my hometown of Paris, France, where the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is hosting its annual conference with major industry players like PepsiCo and Unilever to make critical decisions about the future of “sustainable” palm oil.

    While I confront key industry players about the ongoing rainforest destruction and workers rights abuses inside, I need your help to make our voice is heard on social media.

    As you read these words, the RSPO is making final decisions about whether to continue certifying deforestation, endangered species extinction, massive climate emissions, and ongoing human rights abuses as “sustainable”. We’ve got to fight back hard to ensure this doesn’t happen.

    To pressure the RSPO, we need as many people as possible tweeting during the meeting today. Together, we can take over its official Twitter hashtag #EURT2018 and show the RSPO and its members that the world is watching.

    Will you join me in asking the RSPO to do the right thing and strengthen its Principles and Criteria and sanction non-compliant members?

    Tweet at the RSPO now.

    The RSPO is undergoing a review of its standards, but I’ve seen the latest draft and it still allows deforestation and degradation on carbon-rich peatlands to be certified as “sustainable.” It also fails to set a deadline to restore carbon-rich peatlands degraded by palm oil plantations, releasing carbon bombs and worsening climate chaos.

    The RSPO needs to put its money where its mouth is and punish non-compliant members such as Indofood, Indonesia’s largest food company, and its palm oil arm, IndoAgri. The RSPO has failed to sanction its controversial member despite years of investigations showing the company is abusing workers. As you read my email, Indofood continues to profit from sales of RSPO certified palm oil while violating workers’ rights and destroying rainforests in Indonesia.

    Please will you join me in asking the RSPO to strengthen its Principles and Criteria and sanction non-compliant members?

    Tweet at the RSPO now.

    The RSPO is at a crossroads as its members convene in Paris today. The decisions made following today’s meetings and plenaries will determine whether the RSPO becomes a credible certification scheme of the leading ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policies which have already been adopted by many of its members, or fades into irrelevancy, allowing and ignoring destruction and climate chaos.

    This is a critical moment for the RSPO. Its members have pledged NDPE palm oil supply chains by 2020, and this is the only chance to review the Principles and Criteria between now and 2020. If the RSPO does not act now to bring the Principles and Criteria into line with NDPE standards, then it will forgo its ability to contribute to the implementation of a growing number of its members’ NDPE policies.

    Tweet at the RSPO now.


    Thanks for all that you do,
    Fatah, Eoin, and the team at SumOfUs

    More information:

    RSPO: Completely Worthless, or Just Mostly Worthless? (UPDATED), The Huffington Post, 31 March 2017
    Why ‘Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)’ palm oil is neither responsible nor sustainable, Rainforest Action Network, 25 April 2013


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