Multiple Organics Celebrates 10 Years and Brightens the Future of Peruvian Quinoa and Cacao Farmers With Solar Powered Lighting
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Hundreds of organic farmers living in the harsh, high altitudes of the Andes Mountains in Peru will soon be seeing the light of hope, quite literally, thanks to Multiple Organics, an international wholesale supplier of over 100 varieties of strictly organic ingredients. In honor of its 10-year anniversary and as part of its ongoing community “Giving Back” program, Multiple Organics–named one of the fastest growing businesses by Inc magazine and the San Francisco Business Times–recently launched a project to install solar panel lighting in the homes of organic quinoa and cacao farmers living in remote mountain areas with no access to electricity.
Lighting Up the Lives of Farmers. Prior to launching the solar panel project, Multiple Organics and its partners surveyed farmers to find out what needs the company could help meet through sustainable means. “Light,” a basic necessity that most today take for granted, topped the list. Without solar lighting, farmers have to travel hours in cold winters to the closest town to buy candles or kerosene, whichever was cheapest at the time. Flickering light is also hard on the eyes, making it challenging for children to do schoolwork and possibly even causing long-term damage to their eyesight.
In contrast, the solar panels provided by Multiple Organics will offer sustainable, steady light at no cost to the farmers. Although this solar technology is only about the size of an iPad, allowing it to be easily transported to the villages, it is able to draw in enough renewable energy from the sun to provide light for up to 60 hours per charge. The lighting systems can be used as both a ceiling fixture for inside their one-room homes or can be detached to double as a flashlight–also an essential need considering most of these farmers still have to walk in the dark to outhouses.
Installation and Follow Up. Dave Lanstein, founder and CEO of Multiple Organics, installed the inaugural solar panel on the home of one of the co-op managers this spring, following a festive village celebration attended by the local minister of agriculture. By mid-September, 100 farmers who are most in need, such as those with children, ill or elderly family members, will be outfitted with solar panels. The next group of farmers to receive panels will be those who have demonstrated leadership in organic farming and sustainability. The company expects all 200 panels to be installed by the end of 2011. Follow up and measuring benefits are both key to ensuring that this program is truly sustainable. Local field teams who regularly visit these farms will play a key role in surveying farmers to see if technical assistance is needed as well as if the children’s grades, and the families overall quality of life, have improved.
10 Years of Stronger Communities and Safer Food. In addition to spearheading community projects such as this, over the last decade Multiple Organics has also helped lead the movement for safer food through the development of Multiple Organics Safety and Testing (MOST). This comprehensive, multi-level program includes visiting suppliers with a food safety expert to complete rigorous audits as well as testing each lot for harmful pathogens and radiation at a third-party lab prior to release and performing strategic random testing for pesticides and heavy metals.
“In the last decade, we have built long-lasting relationships with dedicated organic supplier partners from around the world and worked together with them to create stronger communities. We created a comprehensive food safety program, so that our products are not only organic and sustainable, but also as safe as possible. For us, these are the true measurements of success,” says Lanstein.
For High Resolution Photos Please Go To:
Multiple Organics, Inc.
Products from Multiple Organics that are sourced from farmers in Peru benefiting from this Solar Powered Lighting Project:
- Chocolate Chips
- Cocoa Powder – Natural
- Cocoa Powder – Alkalized
- Cacao Nibs
- Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs
SOURCE Multiple Organics