Producer Profile

Sugar Cane Producer Manduvira of Paraguay

“Our dream has always been to own our own sugar mill and now it’s going to happen.”

“Our cooperative makes a difference in the lives of our members in three ways: economically, socially and environmentally. I think the most precious capital we have is the trust of the members. All the producer-members are sure the cooperative will support them and that it will continue to do so.

When we started to try and make the first part of our dream real - to rent a factory to produce organic sugar and export directly - many people said it was impossible. Some mocked us saying we were mad, that we were going to bankrupt the cooperative and that we were ‘yagua’i estrella’: Guarani for ‘a puppy barking at the moon, believing he could reach it’. Now, seven years later, we export to 18 countries, and we are building our own organic sugar factory. What they didn’t expect was that this puppy was going to get a rocket and reach the moon.

I’d like to tell the small-scale producers all over the world not to be afraid to fight for their dreams. More important than having the money, is the good idea, the vision. Only in the dictionary does the word ‘success’ come before ‘work’. If you are certain of where you wish to go, using determination, work, effort and sacrifice, nothing can stop you.”

Andres González Aguilera, General Manager of Cooperativa Manduvirá Ltda, Paraguay

An Alternative Perspective on the Benefits of Certified Fair Trade »

This program was made possible with financial support of the Government of Manitoba,
and was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

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