Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

La Riojana Cooperative - Fairtrade and Olive Oil

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Wed, Mar 09, 2022 @ 03:00 PM

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What happens when you combine producer co-ops with Fairtrade certification? You get delicious, high-quality products that build economies and effect social change. 
La Riojana Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of these products, and it’s on sale through March at the

Viroqua Food Co+op! The La Rioja province is where the majority of the La Riojana Cooperative’s

members live and work. This area is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in Argentina, but it is also one of the most remote. Limited access to markets is one reason why La Riojana has made Fairtrade a fundamental part of their cooperative model. 

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The direct connections forged through Fairtrade help to establish a buyer network and business model that producers can rely on year after year. The La Riojana Cooperative received Fairtrade certification in 2015, which made them the first certified olive oil producer in Latin America. Certified Fairtrade producers receive a pre-established price for

BlogImage-2022-La Riojana Cooperative-3their product along with a Fairtrade premium that goes into a fund for farmers and workers to spend on local projects that not only benefit the producer but also their community.  The Certified Fairtrade label guarantees fair labor standards, good working conditions and environmental protections. What’s more, through direct connections, producers gain important insight and information that help them to produce the highest quality most desirable products on the market.

As a producer-owned cooperative, every member of La Riojana Cooperative votes to help decide what the cooperative does with their community fund. Their projects include clean water, a secondary school, medical equipment, and health centers, and a new community center. La Riojana Cooperative also invests in sustainability initiatives and reforestation projects. For people in the developing world, these projects have a great impact on their community and quality of life.

So, let’s look at what makes La Riojana Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil unique. The olives used to produce this high-quality oil come from Arauco and Manzanilla olives grown in the Antinaco Valleys - Los Colorados in La Rioja province; one of the most important olive-producing regions in South America. The olive oil produced by La Riojana is extra virgin olive oil and is first cold-pressed, preserving important nutrients.

This blend, in particular, offers notes of dried fruits, an aroma of green and ripe olives, and both sweet and spicy flavors. And it is so tasty that it is best used in dipping sauces, salad dressings, or drizzled over the top of your favorite roasted vegetables.

With every purchase of La Riojana olive oil, you are supporting a business model that is equitable throughout the supply chain. Now on sale at the VFC through the end of March 2022.

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Olive oil is as versatile as it is delicious. Check out our top five uses that go beyond the table.

1. Remove paint from hands.  Rub olive oil into your hands, let it soak in for a few minutes and the paint will peel right off!
2. Season your cast iron. Apply a light layer of olive oil on a clean pan to prevent rust.
3. Moisturize skin. Rub generously into dry skin for immediate relief.
4. Unstick your zipper.  Dab on a stuck zipper to open.
5. Remove your eye makeup. 

Tags: Inclusive Trade, Minority Owned