Producer Profiles

Jurihe Zhaluteqi Nature Village Farmer Association

The Jurihe Zhaluteqi Nature Village Farmer Association is located near Tong Liao City in Inner Mongolia. The province is the third largest subdivision of China and one of China's poorest rural areas. The region has a temperate continental climate with four distinct seasons because of its great distance from the sea and high terrains. Locals live through long, cold winters and enjoy short, warm summers.

Members produce a variety of beans here –primarily Adzuki, Kidney, Mung and Soy beans, in addition to peanuts. Farmers work on over 2,000 hectares of land and produce over 3,000 metric tons of soybeans and pulses annually. There are only an estimated 39 farmers responsible for cultivating and harvesting all of the cooperative's crops.

The province's population is approximately 23.7 million. 49 ethnic groups live in Inner Mongolia, including Mongolian, Han, Manchu, Hui, Daur, Ewenki, Oroqen and Korean. These rural groups represent over 50 percent of the entire population, an estimated 13.8 million farmers and family members. Almost 12 million Inner Mongolians live in villages while an additional 1.9 million live in pastoral regions around the province.


Improving Local Education

Resources are scarce in the TieBei village, where the main office is located. Families in Jurihe want to improve their local education system because most children are unable to read and write. Schools are weak and outdated, and located far from where farmers live –some children walk over an hour to reach the closest schoolhouse. In the winter, temperatures can drop to -20 degrees. Given the harsh weather and inadequate facilities, many children do not attend school.

Portions of the cooperative’s Fair Trade premium will be used to improve their community's educational structures and support local families by providing supplies and services that promote a better learning environment. The cooperative will purchase and donate heaters, warm clothes and basic school materials as a start.