See how Fair Trade has empowered Mariana del Jesus Mendoza to play a leading role in her community.
Mariana del Jesus Mendoza, Fortaleza del Valle (cocoa), Ecuador
Three generations of women in the Mendoza family grow the cocoa that will become our favorite chocolate bars.
Thanks to Fair Trade we are able to sell our cocoa at fair and stable prices. We have learned how to take true advantage of our plants' capacities and improve the quality, instead of ruining the crop with pesticides and fungicides.
Mariana, 52, draws inspiration from her mother Elu, who at 78 still puts in long hours growing cocoa while also training Mariana’s 25-year-old-daughter Maria. Mariana has proven herself a leader of her cooperative in Ecuador. As a cooperative board member she speaks up for all the farmers in her community and works hard to help them improve the quality of their cocoa. Her goal is to sell the cocoa at a price that ensures a sustainable income for generations to come.