Log in or register to follow or vote for this project.
Mexico is one of the biggest producers of organic food in Latin America, but 90% of that production is exported, so the limited supply in the country is mostly bought by big companies like Wal-Mart that increases the prices and sells it to the highest class families. Nevertheles, there are some producers, specially around Mexico City, that are trying to strike a growing market of Mexican consumers willing to make the investment. Their main reasons are the benefits to their health and to the environment, but also the inflation in the last years that has shortened the breach between organic and common food.
IDECO is an entrepreneural project started in the Incubator of my university and focuses on producing organic food in the roofs, walls and gardens of urban areas. Around the world many cities have already adopted the concept of “green roofs” on top of their buildings which help in keeping the temperature stable, thus reducing the use of energy, collect rain water, and clean the air from CO2 and other greenhouse emissions. IDECO takes that succesful initiative but makes it even more sustainable by growing organic food and selling it to restaurants and other industries that could take advantage of its characteristics. A company of indigenous women that live in a very poor town of the state have learned organic breeding and are now selling their organic eggs to the owner of three restaurants in Mexico City. She was so pleased with the processes she saw and the quality of the products that she now buys around 6,000 pieces a month. The lifes of these women have changed since. I personally once worked in a small sushi restaurant where the owner would have a backup of organic ready-to-use lettuce that she would use when there was no time to clean and disinfect the normal one. There is a market for these products, whether we see it or not.
The idea of cultivating in these urban areas is not only about those enormous benefits to the environment, IDECO is also looking for the integral development that this activity can bring to its surroundings. The first place that IDECO attempts to cultivate in is the college campus itself. By using roofs and balconies all around the university, developing simple and economical technologies with the help of engineering students and the use of the advanced infraestructure within, IDECO can focus on creating job opportunities for prepared young professionals but also for family members that wish to invest a few hours, have an extra income and maybe later replicate these activities in their homes.
Organic production is surrounded by taboos and actual obstacles, yet none of them is an impediment for the succes of IDECO. The high prices displayed in supermarkets do nothing but create a common image that few rich people can afford them, even when many are convinced that thay are far healthier and would like to buy them. In this matter, I have witnessed the contrary found on my own town: markets and tianguis where producers install themselves and eliminate the need of intermediaries. The concept is called ‘fair trade’, and it is about allowing the producer get as much reward as it deserves for its work and the client to get affordable prices. IDECO also wants to be that link between the benefits of organic production and the market that urges for a viable alternative, offering opportunities to both sides. Restaurants, our first target market, would be attracted by healthier food, better flavour and environmental/social impact, all by risking very few cost increase, or even none.