Community Production, Community Benefit: A New Approach
The Peasant Movement of Gros Morne provides essential resources and training to its more than 12,000 members. The training allows peasant farmers to cultivate their land more effectively and intensively. This cultivation is complemented by free seedlings from Quixote Center nurseries throughout the region, aiding our central mission of dispersed reforestation and ecological restoration in Haiti.
We are proud of this work, but not content. We are not content because it is not sufficient to plant trees and train farmers. We must always progress to larger scales and a more holistic scope. These farmers lack access to the marketplace, so they are powerless to sell directly to consumers, relying instead on middlemen who buy low and sell high. During 2015 the Quixote Center and the Peasant Movement of Gros-Morne will partner to form a new kind of marketplace for peasant farmers. We’re going to start with peas, a popular crop in the Gros-Morne region.
We will establish a guaranteed purchase fund for member families to sell their excess at harvest time. The Peasant Movement will then connect directly to local consumers (businesses, non-governmental organizations, orphanages, and medical service facilities) to sell a portion of the harvest. The remainder will be preserved using an innovative storage system and made available for purchase by member families during planting season, when the price of seeds rises dramatically, at less than market value.
This is a new model. We believe it will work because the Peasant Movement of Gros-Morne has developed as a community-based organization with the full trust of its membership.