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OUT OF POVERTY INTO AFRICA

Food Chain Radio Show #925 • June 22, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific

Michael Olson hosts:  Larry Jacobs & John Graham, Del Cabo Cooperative

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Can organic prosper in Africa?

Chances are you popped one of those organic cherry tomatoes into your mouth in the dead of a winter and, without a thought as to its origin, bit down to pop its sweetness.  Let’s give that tomato a thought…

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Your cherry tomato may well have carried the Del Cabo brand, which means that it was the product of a cooperative of 400 small, organic farmers near the town of San Jose Del Cabo in Baja California, Sur.  In fact, you may well have looked down on those farms while flying in to Cabo San Lucas to enjoy some winter fun in the sun.

In 1985, Larry and Sandra Jacobs, organic farmers from Pescadero, California, decided to package some of that winter sunshine into organic cherry tomatoes and ship them north.  But rather than growing the tomatoes themselves, they enlisted 10 small farmers to grow for them, and with that agreement, the Del Cabo Cooperative was born.

By working together through the Del Cabo Cooperative, and with the partnership of Jacobs Farm in California, the small farmers of Baja were able to increase their annual incomes from $3,000 to $20,000.

Today, the Del Cabo Cooperative consists of 400, give or take, small farmers in Baja, and the Jacobs Farm has grown into a company with over 60 employees in California.

The Jacobs have now taken this economic model to Africa, which leads us to ask …

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Can organic prosper in Africa?

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