Founded in 1994 by 15 small farmers in Montenegro, in the Rio Grande do Sul region, far south of Brazil, this cooperative has become a reference in matters of organic agriculture and social economy.
Today it includes 110 members, 49 social workers, and 10 employees; it manages 600 hectares and markets fruit juice, essential oils, and compost, garnering annual business revenues of US$3.5 million.
Ecocitrus’ role exceeds the boundaries of its formal structure, extending to some 4,000 local families which it assists in supporting themselves within the region by development programs – most notably through professional training.
From the beginning, the project envisioned ecologically correct, socially just, and economically viable development.
Respectful agriculture: an alternative to conventional agriculture, the growing method is organic and biodynamic.
Economically viable activity: The initial objective was to stem the exodus of rural families and to maintain them on their lands
A mastered production chain: The organization is participatory and allows growers to control all phases of the process
Ecocitrus has placed all the buildings necessary for refrigerated preservation of fresh fruit and the distribution of production processes for the juices and essential oils on a 1,500 sq. meter plot located in Potreiro Grande.
The composting centre, created in 1995 in partnership with 35 regional enterprises, transforms organic waste into fertilizer.
ORGANIC : Ecovida agro-ecology – IBD
BIODYNAMIC : IBD label (Biodynamic Institute)
FAIR TRADE : Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO)