WE NEED YOUR HELP to overcome the last major barrier to a sustainable, organic landscape in Talamanca: APPTA’S NEXT GENERATION FRUIT PROCESSING PLANT.
Talamanca is one of the world’s most valuable biodiversity hotspots, with 4 percent of the planet’s known species of plants and animals. It is also Costa Rica’s poorest region by all socio-economic indicators.
Logging, mining, industrial agriculture and toxic agrochemicals are growing threats to nature and local people’s well-being. To improve their socio-economic situation in a way that protects nature and strengthens the local indigenous cultures, Talamanca’s families created the Small Farmers Association of Talamanca (APPTA).
APPTA’s 1,000 families, most of whom live beyond the reach of roads, cultivate diverse, tree-based, organic agro-ecological farms that provide income, food, medicine, clean water, healthy soils, building materials, carbon sequestration, biodiversity habitat and many other environmental, social, and cultural benefits. Our immediate and long-term well being is threatened.
Our most difficult challenge is creating sufficient income so that our organic agro-ecological farming system is economically viable. When farmers are limited to selling to third party buyers, they are channeled into a single crop for which they are poorly paid and are always at the whim of the buyer. Economic success depends on having an integrated system that ensures profits get to the farm families and their agro-ecological farms.
APPTA has been developing local capacity for producing and marketing puree of organic tropical fruits, like banana, araza, star fruit and guava. While we have stable national and international markets for these products, our artisanal methods are not viable for large volume international commerce.
To create a sustainable business that benefits the farmers, APPTA is building a modern fruit processing plant that will produce 7 tons per day of aseptically packaged organic purees. This process is almost complete.
- The farmers are producing the crops.
- APPTA has expanded and modernized our facilities, and built the necessary support infrastructure like ripening rooms, storage and access roads.
- Our staff has finished a two year training program, improving technical, administrative and financial management capabilities.
- We have several years of experience exporting frozen puree to the US and Europe.
- We have secure markets for all the puree projected to be produced in the project’s first two years.
- We have secured financing for working capital.
APPTA now needs help to finish the plant and begin operations. We have raised and already invested 85% of the total project cost. APPTA still needs $370,000 to finish purchasing the key piece of equipment: the aseptic processor. Everything else is in place to begin operations.
PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING APPTA’S FARMERS to become a viable, sustainable modern cooperative, enabling us to continue growing organic crops in diverse agroforestry systems that enhance the protection of nature in one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots.