The state of emergency in Quito, Ecuador put many farmer families, who regularly delivered food from the countryside to the city, in a tight spot. In a short period of time, transportation was paralyzed or limited, and the government closed the main fairs or producer markets to avoid contagion risks.
This made essential the union between professional organisations of producers and citizens to promote alternative food networks during the crisis. Networks that today supply vulnerable areas of Quito with so-called "agro ecological food baskets".
These baskets contain a package of seasonal products that ensure income for producers and a continuous supply of healthy food, at an affordable price, for families in southern Quito.
“Fifteen dollars is what a family in the south of Quito spends weekly on food, and that is also the price of our baskets," explains Roberto Guerrero, coordinator of the Madre Tierra Healthy Food Distribution System, promoted by the South-Being Networks and Flavors Cooperative. It's a consumer organisation in southern Quito that, in alliance with small producers, promotes the agro-ecological fairs located in that area of the city, which are today paralyzed by COVID-19.
Roberto clarifies that these prices are agreed upon in an assembly with producers and consumers. "We think that the most vulnerable sectors cannot be excluded from consumption, that is why we organise ourselves to provide healthy and sovereign food at an affordable price."
Starting this year, this vision fosters the alliance between the cooperative and Rikolto, which is part of a strategy to articulate food initiatives, today more necessary than ever for families in Ecuador.