Peru has been a main supplier of organic mangoes, passion fruit and ginger to Eosta for years. Based near the big port of Rotterdam, Eosta is one of Europe’s leading distributors of organic fruit. But Peru is now the country worst affected by Corona in the world. However, the organic supply chain is proving to be extremely resilient, says Volkert Engelsman, CEO of Eosta. "Actually business in Peru is going better than ever. Surely this has to do with the integrated sustainable approach of our organic growers, such as mango supplier Jan Bernard. He takes very good care of his people."
Recently Jan Bernard sent a series of photos to Engelsman to demonstrate his commitment to health. The images showed workers getting flu shots and resistance-enhancing cocktails of fresh ginger and orange juice. Volkert Engelsman comments: “His company is a real safe haven for local workers from the Moyobamba area. They are doing remarkably well in these difficult times. Surely this has to do with Jan Bernard’s sustainability policy. It ranges from creating resilience in the soil to preserving the rainforest and caring for the employees. They have founded schools, arranged child care and they provide good medical support.”
ProNatur, the company of Jan Bernard (to be found with code 120 at www.natureandmore.com) has a few hundred employees. So far, none of them have fallen ill. Diversity in cultivation is an important factor contributing to resilience. ProNatur encourages its smallholders, many of them descending from Aguaruna and Huambisa natives, to grow a variety of fruit and coffee at different altitudes. In addition they grow beans, peas, cassava, bananas, and other crops for their own use. This guarantees a healthy diet and preserves biodiversity.
Apart from these policies, the company also played a major role in a local campaign against water pollution. Volkert Engelsman: “The river basins in this region are often affected by the activities of mining companies. Jan Bernard has made great efforts to keep the catchment area of his growers clean and the people are grateful for that.” It is precisely in times like these that organic agriculture demonstrates its worth as a holistic, healthy food system.
More information about Jan Bernard and his farm: code 120 at www.natureandmore.com.