Oryana is proud to partner with La Riojana Cooperative, the largest certified fair trade wine and olive oil cooperative in Argentina, to bring our customers a meaningful choice in these products. Just like a food co-op, La Riojana is a company built by the community to benefit the community. Over 500 family farmers and winemakers collaborate to produce wines and olive oils to rival those from the Mediterranean.
Fair trade certification is the factor that significantly sets La Riojana apart from its South American peers in the olive oil and wine industry. Fair trade standards ensure fair prices and a living wage for farmers, establish safe working conditions, protect human rights and provide for community development projects. Since their certification in 2006, La Riojana has completed 36 community development projects, including establishing a local water facility to provide fresh running water, and the construction of the community’s first secondary school for kids age 13-18. Most recently, they’ve turned their attention on improving local access to healthcare.
Availability of healthcare is central to a community’s ability to grow and flourish. La Riojana’s clinic project will offer medical care for over 10,000 people in the region and includes the purchase of the region’s first ambulance. In addition to providing general medical care and outpatient services, the new health center will offer maternity care and services for babies and young children. It will also be a dedicated research and treatment facility for regional endemic diseases, in partnership with the local university, Universidad de Chilecito.
Here is the latest update on the health center from Alejandro Fonteriz, La Riojana Co-op Export Manager
Although progress over the past 8 months has been restricted due to Covid-19 and all the regulations in place, the good news is that work has been able to continue, and steady progress has been made. Alongside the advances that have been made both outside and inside the health centre, it is exciting to see the landscaping work carried out in August 2020 beginning to take shape with the growth of the different trees and plants along the site boundaries.
With the exterior of the building almost finished, it means the interior is now the main focus for the builders. In addition to waterproofing the roof, the workmen have been busy plastering the walls, tiling, installing aluminum frames for the doors and windows, as well as laying flooring and installing the electrical lines. In Section 3 of the building, the builders have been working to divide the large open space into separate areas by installing partitions so they will become the outpatient consulting rooms.