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Friday, May 23, 2008

1st Forum of Fair Trade in the Region

In a joint effort for empowering Yucatan’s Peninsula locally crafted products the Mesoamerican American Biological Corridor jointly with Flora Fauna y Cultura de México, Amigos de Sian Ka’an, Conabio and GVI among other Governmental and Non Governmental Organizations pioneered in Xcaret Park the First Forum for Fair Trade in the Region.

The objective of the forum, held on the 19th and 20th of May, was to offer a trading space between the tourism sector and producers from the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in México specially to support products made in a sustainable way from Rural Communities in the Area. The assistants had the opportunity to try and buy Organic products such as coffee, chocolate, chewing gum, species as well as handicrafts, traditional medicine and wood from Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas.

It is worth to mention that based on our mission statement GVI in conjunction with Amigos de Sian Ka'an provided accomodation and food to 7 handicrafts companies from the Mayan Area during the 2 days that they participated in the Forum.

The event was highlighted by the introduction of the collective brand: “Langosta Arrecife Sano” (Healthy Reef Lobster) which accomplishes with International Quality Norms and is a real example of sustainable fishing. Lobster fishing is an ancient activity in Quintana Roo and many communities from Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an Reserves make a living from it. Gladly, they have become aware that sustainable fishing is the way to go in order to keep their income source for years to come. Therefore, they have a control system ruled by the same group that penalizes anyone that captures female or juvenile lobster (Panulirus argus).

This collective brand, in which six lobster fisheries partake, represents a tangible and proud example that business, community development and conservation practices can exist harmoniously. It certainly is a motivation for more sustainable initiatives to be created and a precedent for more hotels and restaurants to use regional products.