Maria Elena Espinoza Ávila
Project: Certification according to Rainforest Alliance Standards (2014)
,,Regular trainings are essential, in order to pass on our knowledge to other employees. Our children are growing up in a sustainable and environmentally conscious environment.’’
Environmental awareness via trainings
Maria Elena Espinoza Ávila (44) is owner of the blackberry farm „Doña Nena“ in the state Michoacán (close to the city Zamora in Mexico), which she is managing together with her husband Francisco. Her son Martin (23) is studying ,,sustainable agriculture’’ and is helping out in the farm as well. For 4 years the farm has been supplying Agrana with blackberries. In November 2014 the blackberry farm was finally certified with 98,2% according to the Rainforest Alliance Standards. ,,In order to win, you sometimes have to take risks. That is what we did and I think we can be proud of the result. Because of the certificate we are regularly trained in how to responsibly deal with the environment. We can pass on this knowledge, not only to the workers, but also to our children, which will then grow up in a sustainable and environmentally conscious environment. Also, workers become more aware of their own actions. For example, the become aware that washing their hands is not only important for their own health, but also has consequences for the fruits they are touching. Many more farmers should join this programme, because it is very good and will greatly pay off in the long term”, says Maria.