Producer Profiles

AGROGANA - Agroganadera Espinosa Chiriboga SA

Agroganadera Espinosa Chiriboga S.A. is an Ecuadorian flower plantation specializing in roses that was established in 1999 as a means to enter the Fair Trade market and thus improve the quality of life of its stakeholders, the employees. The farm is situated at 10,000 feet in the Andean region of Ecuador in the Cotopaxi province which is known as the home of one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes.

Historically, this region has faced high unemployment and illiteracy rates, a result of the poor economic situation many are born into. Agroganadera’s owners employ over 170 workers and try to provide comprehensive community services to the community. However, many people living in Cotopaxi still lack the resources to send their children to school. Many workers never completed their own basic studies, leaving school at an early age to support their families. As a result both management and workers at Agroganadera Espinosa Chiriboga have made education a priority. With Fair Trade premiums, programs promoting education and providing academic opportunities have been developed, giving members and their families new tools for a brighter tomorrow.
 

Programs

English Courses for Kids

For the last three years, Agroganadera Espinosa has invested in an English Language Program for the children and family members of the employees of their company. When the program began, they had 27 children participating, and it has since grown to over 90 children. As a result, they have hired two professors to cover the current demand. The program also provides all materials needed for the children. The classes have been very successful in helping the children overcome their limitations and fears, and breakthrough their shyness so they can better express themselves. The language abilities they develop will help open more opportunities for them in the future.

Shopping Club for Members

The basic cost of survival in Ecuador is very high, and often people cannot afford various household and food items. The company has set up a club that helps their employees provide these items for their families and community. The company does so by purchasing bulk food and household items and offering them at discounted employee rates. This allows workers to invest their money in other necessities for their families.

Health Clinics for Workers and Families

Agroganadera Espinosa noticed many of their workers and worker's families were not receiving adequate medical attention--children were malnourished and suffered lung problems and other health issues. Because these ailments went untreated, they developed into serious problems. The company has since then set up a clinic to treat workers' symptoms before they worsen, and also help care for and prevent any illness.