All of our cacao and 90 percent of our roses are imported. For this year's romantic celebrations, let's consider the people who produce them.
Elvia Almachi, 32, works at Agrogana, a Fair Trade Certified rose farm in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Fair Trade is enabling her and her husband to go to school on weekends. Both will soon have their high-school diplomas, and hope to inspire their two young daughters to live their dreams. "It is through these Fair Trade flowers that hundreds of families, like mine, continually improve our lives," says Elvia.
Mariana deL Jesus Mendoza (in the foreground), 52, is a cacao grower and board member of the Fair Trade cooperative Fortaleza del Valle in Ecuador. She draws inspiration from her mother Elu, who at 78 still grows cocoa while also training Mariana's 25-year-old-daughter Maria (both are in the background). "Thanks to Fair Trade, we are able to sell our cacao at fair and stable prices," says Mariana. As a leader of her cooperative, she speaks for all the farmers in her community and works to help them improve the quality of their cocoa.
Did you know?
Look for this logo on flower wrappers and product packaging.