According to a press release, issued yesterday by Choices Markets:
Concepción, a small city in Central Chile was hit hard by the earthquake. Among those affected was Green Tribe, a cooperative of fair trade certified blueberry growers situated in four surrounding villages. As of January 2010, Choices Markets, in partnership with importer Discovery Organics, has been sourcing fair trade blueberries from the Green Tribe grower cooperative. When both businesses heard of the tragedy, minds came together to devise a plan to raise relief funds for their trading partners half a world away. From March 15–19, Choices will be selling Green Tribe’s fair trade certified blueberries with zero mark up. All net proceeds from these sales will be given back to the growers immediately, assisting them in providing the bare necessities for their children, elders, employees and neighbours.
February 27, 2010, saw the fifth-strongest earthquake in history strike Central Chile. The earthquake has devastated many rural communities and remote villages, leaving them with virtually no potable water, shelter, food or electricity. “From our contacts at Discovery, we have heard directly that the growers from the Green Tribe cooperative have been working tirelessly to restore their villages,” comments Mark Vickars, Choices CEO. “With very little resources, so far, they have managed to construct three emergency shelters for their workers. It’s inspiring, and we felt the need to contribute in some way.”
Along with the emergency shelters, the growers are also working on rebuilding homes and delivering what little food and water there is to people in need—all while trying to simultaneously harvest what is left of their blueberry crops.