Runa/Napo Province

The Runa Foundation

The Runa Foundation was originally developed by three undergraduate students from the United States as a university class project in coordination with indigenous farmers in Ecuador. Today, the Runa Foundation provides a consistent income for 600 families in the Ecuadorian Amazon by purchasing their organically-produced, shade-grown guayusa leaves at a guaranteed minimum price and providing them with technical support through a team of experienced agronomists.

After the farmers harvest and bag the leaves, field technicians employed by Runa weigh the bags on site and pay the farmers fair trade prices ($0.35/lb) in direct cash payments. The bags of leaves are loaded onto the bed of a truck and driven to the Foundation's office in Archidona, where the first guayusa factory in the world is located. The dryer technicians take scrupulous notes on which technician collected the harvest, which farmer the leaves came from, the condition and date of the harvest, and how many pounds were unloaded. Up to 1000 pounds of guayusa leaves can enter the factory daily! Once this has taken place, Runa dries, crushes, and packages the leaves, preparing them for export to the United States where it is sold as tea.

The Runa Foundation has become the first organization to design a fair trade, organic production chain to purchase guayusa leaves from small-scale farmers, process it into a tea, and export it to the United States. Runa's agricultural technicians assist farmers in preparations to grow guayusa, applying organic pesticides, caring for the trees during the cultivation process, and harvesting the leaves. This is an innovative system that Runa has developed as a commitment to improve the abilities of local farmers while providing them with an added income and an incentive to reforest their lands with a plant that is central to their cultural heritage. Through its guayusa project, the Foundation works hard to preserve and value indigenous Kichwa culture and traditional knowledge, while helping to reforest the Amazon and promote community development.

Date Entered: June 2010

The 2010 Ecuador document was formulated after remote training based on the formatting of the 2009 Heritable Innovation Trust document. Therefore, the community analysis of the Napo Provice in Ecuador is based on three types of context (Environmental, Social, and Political) rather than Integral Accounting.

Contextual Analysis

Environmental Context
Social Context
Political Context

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