Thursday, March 27, 2014

The World Needs These Businesses

Last week I wrote about our goals to stabilize and expand the post-production process in sesame and peanuts.  I wrote about all the problems we have had to deal with and the difficulty of addressing them with insufficient funding.

This week in talking about our final goal in sustainable agriculture, I want to stress the importance of a few key supporters. 

 Once Again Nut Butter and Nuts to You have been backers of our farmers even sometimes when it was hard for their businesses.  They have fronted capital, paid for product quickly, and helped last year by re-processing what they could from product that was mishandled.  They could have just turned all of it away and COPROEXNIC would have had tremendous losses, BUT instead they worked with us to come up with solutions to salvage what could be saved.

This was FAR and BEYOND what most businesses would do.  On top of that, Lloyd Kirwan of OANB made numerous trips down to help Mike and COPROEXNIC work through problems (including here now with Kim Moriarty from OANB).  There were times that I did not know who would keel over first, Lloyd or Mike…so much was on the line.

Bená Burda from Maggie's Organics, the oldest organic clothing company in the USA, also buys from our cotton growers.  One of our goals is to increase cotton production in order to make the gin economically viable so that our 25 workers in the gin are not just seasonal workers, but can provide for their families year-round.

These companies understand that doing business does not have to equate with greed and obscene profits.  They understand that business done ethically is not only good for the soul (maybe not the heart, but definitely the soul), but also good for the world and for the earth.  One of the reasons they know this is that because – unlike most businesspeople – they have come to Nicaragua and met the people who provide them with raw product…they have come to know them.

Can you imagine the CEO of GAP going to Indonesia to meet with the women who sew their garments…meet their children…go into their homes?  Can you imagine the CEO of Planters going to meet with their peanut farmers…can you imagine Planters even working with small farmers? Can you imagine the CEO of Dole being willing to spray bananas and pollute the land if he actually got to know the farmers and the children who suffer from the polluted land and drinking water?

The world, the earth, the poor NEED businesses like OANB, Nuts to You, and Maggie’s Organics.