Growing a Social Enterprise in Peru for Sustainable Solutions During the Pandemic

In this time of global crisis Suelo Sagrado was founded in The Sacred Valley Peru by brother and sister Joaquin and Camila. Read on to find out about how this inspiring duo and their collective of local organic farmers are paving the way for resilient food systems, community care and sustainable solutions.

We believe in reconnecting with our roots to nourish the community, the land and our bodies.” – Suelo Sagrado, Peru

Suelo Sagrado is a small family run business who support local producers that work with alternative farming methods such as organic vegetable growers, artisan cheese makers and free range egg suppliers.

Finding organic produce where the farmers get fair pay isn’t always easy or convenient. Oftentimes consumers choose convenience over supporting sustainable produce that is ethically sourced.

So Suelo Sagrado made it their mission to ensure an easy way to shop local with home delivered nutritious organic produce and artisan foods from The Sacred Valley. Their easy-to-use website makes the shopping experience enjoyable and convenient so that their customers can order veg boxes and a selection of other products.

They say “Since the beginning our dream has always been to raise awareness about organic farming practices with our main objective being to encourage responsible consumer choices.”

Suelo Sagrado want to transform the food system

Joaquin and Camila want to transform the food system from one that is degrading, fragile and industrial, to one that is regenerative, resilient and prioritises the people who work so hard to provide. Shorter supply chains mean greater resilience and an increased capacity for the food system to adapt in uncertain times.

Suelo Sagrado was created during the pandemic in a time of financial insecurity and global crisis. In 2019 Joaquin moved to The Sacred Valley to grow organically on his own land which was always a dream of his. When the pandemic hit Camila joined him to help out. 

They soon realized that they could have a much bigger impact by joining forces with the farmers of the valley, who they say are “the true teachers who know exactly how to tend to this sacred soil, and who need our support now more than ever.”

Adapting to the times to thrive rather than just survive

At first they used to deliver only fresh produce but as the market and the demand grew they decided to partner up with beekeepers, cheese makers, local butchers, coffee roasters and other local producers of the Valley. They’ve really enjoyed getting to know all the incredible people who provide these different foods.

Suelo Sagrado says “We believe in creating a sustainable self supported community. Our goal today is to provide everyone looking for a healthier lifestyle in the valley with a simple way to find local nutritious food whilst supporting our amazing producers with a regular income.”

Supporting local producers with the tools to grow their business

Their aim is also to support the local producers to grow, adapt and follow their own creativity and new ideas by providing the market for specialist products such as artisan cheese. 

Rene was born and raised among milk and cows in Anta his whole life. He learnt the cheese and butter making crafts from his grandmother and has put all his effort and time into transforming their passion into a profitable local business. 

He has a small factory in the Anta valley and he is always experimenting with new types of cheese and other dairy products. His dream is to make great quality artisan local cheese. At the moment he is crafting a new kind of brie and camembert. 

Suelo Sagrado says “Producers like Rene are exactly the reason we started Suelo Sagrado, to support big dreamers like him with the tools to expand their business and make great added value products like this.” 

Community support in uncertain times

Suelo Sagrado supports both their local producers and their community of buyers. They affirm that “During these challenging and uncertain times it is more important now than ever to build resilient and localised food systems.”

In the beginnings of the pandemic when many people weren’t able to leave their homes, they supported their community with food deliveries, a friendly chat and by lending a helping hand for those who needed extra support. 

From speaking to Joaquin and Camila, it is clear that they live and breathe this work and are leading from the heart. Here at ARDEA we are thrilled to work with small businesses like Suelo Segrado who value sustainability, integrity and community building. We supported Suelo Sagrado to build their website, develop their brand voice and with social media branded designs. We were so deeply inspired by Joaquin, Camila and all the stories from their local producers. 

You can check out their website here and follow them on Instagram here to show your support. 

“As humanity, we face an immense raft of crises. We need to address these together to build a fair and sustainable tomorrow. A tomorrow where economic resilience, social fairness and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand.” – WTFO

What can you do from home? Support La Via Campesina International Peasant’s Movement fighting for food sovereignty, climate and environmental justice, dignity for migrant’s and waged workers, international solidarity and agroecology.

All photography by Matias Ricketts. Find more of his work here.

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