First Farmer-Owned Online Marketplace Launches in Ecuador

By Heifer International

May 27, 2021


La Cosecha del Día (Daily Harvest) will sell food products from 400 small-scale agroecological farmers supported by Heifer Ecuador. 

Quito, Ecuador Today, four farmer producer organizations launched La Cosecha del Día, Ecuador’s first farmer-owned marketplace for agroecological food products. The online marketplace will help local farmers that are part of Heifer Ecuador’s Future of Food program to increase the supply of fresh, safe, healthy food, to families across the country. La Cosecha del Día sells goods produced by 400 mainly women small-scale producers from The Agroecological Solidarity Economy Network of the Kayambi Territory (RESAK) in Pichincha; The Association Pamar Chacrin of the Sigsig canton in Azuay province; The Network of Producers of Guayabillas of the Parish of Pacto in the northwest of Pichincha province; and The Association of Agroecological Producers (APA) in Azuay province.

The online marketplace offers 200 products, including vegetables, fruits, seafood, grains, flours, natural herbs, snacks and baked goods. Customers can see the full history and traceability of the products they purchase, increasing awareness of where their food comes from, while promoting local farmers who are producing high-quality, sustainable food.

“The pandemic revealed the environmental and equity issues with our food system. As an online store built and owned by farmers, La Cosecha del Día guarantees farmers a fair price for their agroecological crops, while providing consumers with fresh, safe food,” said Rosa Rodriguez, country director of Heifer Ecuador. “The marketplace will contribute to building a sustainable local food system that benefits farmers and consumers beyond the pandemic.”

La Cosecha del Día currently delivers to the cities of Quito and Cuenca, with plans to expand delivery to more cities across the country. Customers are able to schedule deliveries, with the food harvested on the day of delivery.

The online store emerged as a response to marketing demands during the COVID-19 pandemic when both farmers and c0nsumers were affected by market disruptions. It was built by farmer producer organizations following standards that support sustainable food systems: 

  • Quality: Food sold on the marketplace is produced on farms practicing agroecology, balancing soil cycles and free from chemicals. Consumers receive fresh fruits and vegetables that are harvested the day orders are received.
  • Environmental: The distribution and consumption of local food reduces emissions from transportation.
  • Social Justice: Farmers are paid a fair price for their products that is affordable for consumers, supporting local farming families to improve their incomes.
  • Data Security: The marketplace is a secure way to shop for food online with a credit card.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Heifer Ecuador Future of Food program expanded its network, following a request from the Government of Quito, setting up a food delivery service from local farms to urban areas. The program ensured sustainable incomes for farmers, who continued to sell their products while open-air marketplaces were closed, and food security for quarantined families. Designed and run by farmers and their organizations, the program brings harvested crops from local farms to collection centers, delivering fair prices for farmers by providing consumers with the ability to order affordable baskets of fresh, healthy food delivered safely to their doorsteps.

The Future of Food program is established in the Azuay, Pichincha, and Galapagos provinces. In the first two participating cities, 5,500 agroecological baskets have been delivered to-date.  

Run by youth of the farmer producer organizations, La Cosecha del Día will strengthen the commercial and technological capacities of the organizations involved in the platform, further supporting small-scale producers to grow their farm businesses.

For more information, visit http://www.lacosechadeldia.net/ or contact Kimberly Barbano at Kimberly.Barbano@heifer.org.

 

ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL 

For 76 years, Heifer International has worked with more than 36 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.