"We started with the process of creating the Cooperative Sur- Siendo Redes y Sabores as an alternative for locating healthy food at a fair price in southern Quito," says Diego Viturco, one of its founders.
Today, at the age of 32, he remembers how he was struck by the fact that in this area, home to 36% of the capital's population, there was no access to fair trade options or organic products; an alternative that was present in different parts of the northern part of the city.
So, in 2016, Diego and other young people attempted to coordinate with fraternal agroecological peasant organisations so they could buy the products that were originally offered under the fair-trade system. Sometime later, after training, the forms of cultivation were modified, which allowed them to make the leap to organic products, which today are in high demand by consumers.
The social, rather than economic potential of the initiative captured Diego's imagination.
"What pleased me most was to achieve an encounter between the countryside and the city. We met with farmers' organisations willing to experiment with other forms of commercialisation. It was interesting to listen to people in the city who thought that cherry tomatoes were the same tomatoes that just hadn't grown much. Also, our colleagues who came from the countryside thought that the whole of Quito was full of buildings. They knew the periphery of the city that is not shown in the reports and they commented that: 'here is the same as there, except there is no space to plant', remembers Diego.