Ignacio Trincado Ruiz is responsible for the oversight and operation of HAF’s social enterprise HA3 and the organic certification of this season’s harvest. His work with HA3 began in May, in the region of Tifnout in the rural communities of Toubkal composed of 48 villages. Ignacio first assisted 22 villages in Toubkal become certified organic through EcoCert, an internationally recognized organic certification agency.
Ignacio started off the venture by collecting information about the cartography of the land and collecting geographical data and information related to farming and production to assess the potential for organic distribution. He designed an approach for the flow of product from farm through the factory ensuring quality control met the demands of EcoCert.
While doing the research and design of the walnut production Ignacio also organized training for farmers on organic practices. He designed and distributed a manual explaining organic practices and in order to ensure farmers continued organic practices, Ignacio oversaw the quality control of the production until community members were trained in each region and able to oversee the production of walnuts themselves. Upon the purchase of walnuts HA3 has storage facilities to contain and dry the walnuts. This creates more job opportunity for community members to oversee these facilities.
HA3 is especially beneficial for organic farmers in the region because it purchases walnuts at above market price ensuring farmers feel the economic benefit of organic farming as well as the environmental benefits that will keep the farmland healthy. The walnuts will be sold in the USA and once production and transportation costs are covered all profit from the walnuts we be cycled back into the community where the walnuts were purchased. Community members will have control over how the funds are used through investments in human development projects.
HA3 plans to expand its operation by increasing the area certified organic after successfully completing its first shipment this season.
By: Charlie Alcorn, HAF Intern