Argentina-based organic apple and pear grower Lago Verde plans to market its fruit as Fair Trade certified this year for the first time.
Lago Verde is partnering with importers Patagonia Organics and Portland, Ore.-based Bridges Organic Produce, as well as Fair Trade USA, on the offering.
From mid-March to June, organic green bartlett, packham triumph, d’anjou, and abate betel pears plus royal gala, cripps pink and red delicious apples will be available. They’re grown in Argentina’s Rio Negro Valley.
Each 40-pound box of apples and pears will have a premium of $1.64, which will be returned to the Lago Verde Fair Trade Worker Committee to fund projects of its choosing.
Over the years, Lago Verde has dedicated funds to schools, healthcare, upgrading homes and religious activities in its community and in nearby native villages, according to a news release. The company is owned and operated by Hugo Sanchez and Nicolas Sanchez. The workforce is made up of local and migrant workers from other parts of Argentina and South America.
“Fair Trade will allow them to further the work they have already begun,” Ben Johnson, president of Bridges Organic Produce, said in the release.
This will be the second Fair Trade program for Bridges Organic Produce, which also partners with Rico Farms to sell Fair Trade row crops from Hermosillo, Mexico.
Patagonia Organics, an importer of organic produce, has worked with Lago Verde since 2006.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of this Fair Trade movement in Argentina, and hope it will lead the way for others,” founder and owner Fernando von Winterhalder said in the release.