Truly Organic Truly Fair: Covilli Brand Organics
You may remember the Covilli brand and story from Episode 83 of The Produce Moms Podcast. If you haven’t listened yet, absolutely add it to your playlist! Alex and Iris are husband & wife and a driving force in the advancement of Organic, Fair Trade, and Regenerative Agriculture around the globe, especially in the United States & Mexico where Covilli Brand Organics has farming operations.
Covilli is the only 100% Organic AND 100% Fair Trade certified produce company in North America.
We recently aligned with Covilli as one of our brand partners at The Produce Moms. There is a vetting process for brands that we consider, and Covilli made the process easy! We appreciate the commitment to their workforce, their community, the environment, and of course – the delicious produce that they grow.
As moms ourselves we know that you want to have a stronger understanding about the brands you choose to purchase for your household. This blog will provide you with an overview of the Covilli brand and their commitment to Organic, Fair Trade, and Regenerative Agriculture. Enjoy this overview of the Covilli brand- it’s a brand we love and seek out when grocery shopping. We think you will love it too!
The History of Covilli Brand Organics
The beginning is simple. Located in Sonora, Mexico, the mountainous region extending from northern Mexico to southern Arizona, Covilli Brand Organics was formed in 1992 as of Terry Poiriez’s pursuit to offer clean, good vegetables while doing things right and without shortcuts.
Long before organic produce was a thing, Terry and his co-founders were growing food, free of harmful pesticides, chemicals, additives and genetic modification. From the beginning, they believed it was the right thing to do for consumers, farmworkers and the planet.
Sustainability and Beyond
Soil health is a top priority in regenerative organic farming. Covilli is committed to year-round soil improvement focused heavily on building organic matter into the soil. The focus on the holistic approach to farming is the backbone of improving the quality of life for all living creatures and sustaining all resources. Regenerative organic farming builds off basic organic and sustainable systems and goes well beyond them.
Covilli is on track to achieve Regenerative Farming Certification from the Rodale Institute, which will make this brand the FIRST & ONLY 100% Organic, 100% Fair Trade, 100% Regenerative produce operation in North America.
Regenerative Agriculture – #1 Food Trend of 2020
Regenerative Agriculture can have many definitions. In general it describes farming & grazing practices that:
- Restore degraded soil
- Improve biodiversity
- Increase carbon capture to positively impact climate change
When Whole Foods named Regenerative Agriculture as #1 Food Trend in 2020, we knew it was time to take a deep dive into learning more about this farming style. Alex & Iris Madrigal have been a catalyst and source of education for our team on the topic of Regenerative Ag. Our goal is to make sure that YOU, the real produce moms understand what this means and why Regenerative Agriculture is a rising area of focus in food production. We are actively learning more about Regenerative Agriculture at The Produce Moms and look forward to leveraging our partnership with Covilli to educate us all on this topic.
Core Items + Growth
The true core of Covilli is their farming practices: Organic, Fair Trade, and Regenerative Agriculture. But their core items that you will find in the produce department include Summer Squash, Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Cucumbers, Chile Peppers, and more. The fertile soil and climate of the Empalme Valley growing region provide Covilli with the opportunity to offer SO MANY of your favorite produce department items: Squashes, Citrus Fruit, Apples, Dragon Fruit, and more!
Farmworkers are Family
Covilli is committed to Worker Safety, Worker Rights, and Worker & Community Empowerment. This is what Fair Trade is all about.
In the simplest definition: Fair Trade is about the well-being of the farmworker. The way it works is described in the infographic below, but essentially you (the shopper/consumer) pay a very small premium at retail (literally a penny or two) for the fruit or vegetable and those premiums are pooled together in a separate fund that is fully-managed by the farmworkers. The farmworkers democratically elect a committee to represent all the farmworkers. This committee manages the funds and conducts a needs assessment.
Fair Trade USA requires that assessments include:
- Healthcare, Health Services, and General Health
- Food Security
- Gender Equality
- Housing and Basic Services
The general assembly of farmworkers votes on the Fair Trade projects brought forward by the committee via the needs assessment. These projects are fully-funded by the premiums (the extra 1-2 cents you paid for the squash) and it truly changes the community where your produce is grown. For example, the premiums from Covilli Brand Organics have resulted in $1,000,000 given back to the farmworker community’s critical needs, most notably a medical clinic that not only provides medical & dental care for the farmworkers and their families, but the entire community where they grow.
We are so excited to share Covilli with our community of moms. This is a brand that you will love and can get behind in a big way! Be on the lookout for more about their 100% fair trade, 100% organic and regenerative farming practices that will revolutionize the agricultural landscape in the U.S. We love Covilli and so will you!