Our farming partners are the heart and soul of our movement and we are proud to support them in preserving their agricultural heritage and expanding their economic opportunities. We partner with farming families across Nicaragua, from the northern highlands to the Caribbean basin and Pacific slope. These communities are often separated by long stretches for dirt roads from the nearest pueblo, and generally lack even basic access to public services and utilities. Over ninety-five percent of our farmers are considered smallholder farmers, producing on small patches of land as little as one hectare. On average, our they grow on 5 hectares. Amongst these producers, we are particularly proud of our work with women’s groups in the central highlands and indigenous groups around the Rio Coco, the traditional homeland for the Mayagna people.
Nicaragua forms the southern most part of the ancient region of Mesoamerica, known as the cradle of agriculture and civilization in the Americas. Much as it has for centuries, farming forms the fabric of rural communities. Today, Nicaraguan smallholder farmers carry forward these traditions, cultivating many of the same crops and native varieties that their ancestors did. Home to Central America’s largest tract of arable land, Nicaragua is the region’s breadbasket, producing and supplying significant quantities of traditional whole foods including red beans, maize, chia, cassava, and cacao to international markets. It is one of a handful of countries recognized as an origin for fine flavor cacao, owing to the ancient genetics of its cacao varieties. In cultivating these crops, Nicaraguan farmers rely on much of the agricultural practices that have been passed down from generation to generation. This focus on traditional agricultural management, as opposed to chemically-intensive agribusiness, lends well to third-party organic certification as farmer to not need to fundamentally change their behaviors or practices.