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“Barefoot Project” to Link Network of 1,500 Organic Producers in CR

A project is trying to  network the producers of organic products and intends to link about 1,500 producers in the country and educate consumers in search of healthy foods.  This is the Barefoot Project, the first concrete action will open a shop of organic and gourmet in the community of Santa Teresa de Cóbano. The opening may be held in mid-July, said the initiators of the project.

This first step was when Andreas Schmidt contacted some 70 associations of organic farmers, which had about 1,500 families who do not use chemicals on their farms.

The employer, of German origin, traveled to many parts of the country in search of those suppliers of organic products.

Schmidt came to Cóbano and realized the difficulties in the country to get healthy products. He was given the task of investigating the organic market in Costa Rica and discovered, for example, that Costa Rica is one of the leading suppliers of organic bananas in the world, but everything is exported.

Then, he defined his idea of ​​Barefoot Project, through which it is intended to provide consumers to producers. One idea is to use the internet medium term to realize sales.It will also open a distribution center in CENADA in Barreal de Heredia.

The project will develop the program exclusively for the local market, given the difficulties he encountered in his research to bring producers wand consumers together in this type of agriculture.

This happens even though the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE), the entity responsible for managing and controlling organic farming, says on its website that Costa Rica has 6,219 acres of certified organic bananas.

There are also 842 hectares of coffee, 542 hectares of oranges, 948 acres of pineapple, and 174 of vegetables, legumes and other fruits, as recorded by the SFE.

This area has a certificate issued by a rating agency, which oversees and monitors the practices on the farm, so that no chemicals are used and there is a proper use and disposal of water, among other cultural practices.

The law also allows other certification system, in view of previous costs. It is participatory certification, in which producers and consumer review practices.

The Barefoot Project will combine the two systems, Schmidt said, with total guarantee of health products.

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