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BUSINESS: Asociación Agro Artesanal Wiñak
CITY: Ecuador
State/Province:
Country: Ecuador
Wiñak is an Organization made up of small farmers, composed of 211 members of which 70% are female, all coming from 29 Kichwa indigenous communities belonging to the parishes of the Cantons Archidona and Tena in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

We are focused on the cultivation of fine aroma cocoa in the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve. Our support to small farmers is to search and connect with special markets for cocoa in seed as well as other cocoa derived products. By special markets we seek those willing to pay fair prices that can lead to improve the living conditions of the partners increasing their income and maintaining their food sovereignty.

Through a system of service we facilitate access to technical assistance, quality inputs, credit and access to improved market niches that both value and conserve our culture, biodiverse natural resources and promote gender equality.

Wiñak is an active member of La Mesa del Cacao (Cocoa Round Table) in the Napo province and is part of an organization leader in the production of fine national cocoa aroma in Archidona working with customs and traditions of the Kichwa culture. For us the Cocoa crop is a cultural identity. Our members use traditional methods that respect the environment in order to grow it. Methods are based on maintaining a multi-diversity of species within the property, thus maintaining an ecologically balanced system; we aim for a productive scheme not offensive to the environment that fits the Sumaco biosphere.

Cocoa is the main economic income for Kichwa families, and we encourage it as it is a cash crop that preserves biodiversity and replicates the characteristics of a primary forest, is a culture with which the producer is familiar with and allows the participation of women in a profitable activity.