Agricultural Producers and Marketers Association of QuinticusigEcuador
This wine producers association was founded in 2011 in Quinticusig, a community located in the canton of Sigchos, in the province of Cotopaxi in Ecuador. It was created to grow wild blueberries as a sustainable source of income for the community and create a positive impact in the lives of their members, who are producing organic blueberry wine. Buying blueberries at a fair price has benefited farmers from nearby areas, including Chugchilán and Amanta.
With this venture, the association has also helped protect the environment. Part of the land that was used mainly to raise cattle is now growing blueberries. These fruits are harvested by hand and left to grow naturally, so there’s no use of pesticides and the blueberry wine is produced collectively. The specific tasks in the processing plant are rotated between members so that everyone can contribute and get paid for them.
The association’s members work to diversify their products. Besides blueberry wine — their main product — they produce blueberry jam and ice cream, and raspberry wine. The group aims to create a strong presence for their product in the local and national markets. They count on the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; the Provincial Government of Cotopaxi; the Municipal Government of Sigchos; and Community Evolution.
With our funding and assistance, the association has received training to both improve their members’ skills and develop their business and marketing plans. In 2015, we funded training in organizational and community enterprise development, technical assistance with their business plan and purchase of stainless steel tanks for the wine processing plant. The association receives ongoing support through our field coordinator.
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