CADO Sugar Cane Farmers'
has traditionally been farmed in the steep hills of Bolivar and
Cotopaxi provinces in Ecuador. A handful of big businesses
dominate the sugar market, so most families use their sugar cane to
produce a potent form of alcoholic drink known as aguardiente.
It's a low-value
product. The families need to
work all week to
make a small tankful that sells for as little as $40 up to $70
In this area of extreme poverty, there are few other options.
has provided training and appropriate technology to make the process
more efficient, supported organic farming and better environmental
practices, and helped 18 communities organise themselves
into a cooperative, CADO (formed in 2003). CRACYP helped with
technology for purification and now the
can purify the crude, 65o aguardiente
up to 70o for
medicinal use as an antiseptic or
even 96.3o for
use as potable alcohol for making liqueurs.
its members a fair price for their organic alcohol and a
'social premium' which goes into community projects. They
also receive a share of the
profits. Some of the younger members are receiving training
in marketing and quality control and we hope to provide salaried
employment in the future. More communities are in the
process of joining CADO, so over 280 families now have the chance to
fight poverty without losing their traditional way of life or
destroying the environment.
farming is helping to conserve the local eco-system. CADO
now has organic certification (BCS Öko-Garantie) and fair
certification (IMO Fair for Life). We provide organic alcohol
The Body Shop for perfumes and other products and you can read their
report about sourcing organic alcohol from CADO.
We also sell to Dr. Bronner's in the United States - see
their representative's report of his fair
trade sourcing visit.
is happy to hear from potential buyers for organic
alcohol on a fair trade basis. More markets for
community-produced alcohol would mean we could help even more families
protect the environment; to receive a fair price for their hard work;
to ensure that their children don't have to work
after school. Contact CADO("at")progresoverde.org
buy fairly-traded organic alcohol.
with all CRACYP's sustainable development projects, there is an element
of reforestation: we "retain" from the communities a small percentage
their extra income and return it to them in the form of tree seedlings
for planting in the local area.
can see - and
taste - how CADO turns the sugar cane into aguardiente and
visit the distilleries on
a guided tour with our nearby
Farmstay EcoTourism Project. Volunteers and interns
in sustainable development may be able to help with
technology transfer or environmental projects in CADO's
communities. See how to
make alcohol from sugar cane and find out why organic
farming is good for frogs.
to the appropriate
technology loan fund are a sustainable way to help these
farmers work more safely and efficiently to improve their standard of
sugar cane into organic alcohol with appropriate technology,
value to the
local economy and encouraging organic production.
Progress organic farming project from CRACYP.