Interviewed by Groundswell, where he is a member:
"One of the biggest shifts in our work over the past two decades has been thinking about food as agriculture, and production. And now we’re beginning to think about it as actual food. … What we’ve realized by working on an agricultural focus [is that] in a sense we were alienating farmers and … excluding them from the wealth of urban people. So now that we’re working with urban people, and we’ve realized how much they spend on food, and in the case of Ecuador it’s between six and eight billion dollars a year,… we can now start to draw on that as a form of financing, and transformation of rural areas. That really what we’re focusing on now … how to bring consumer wealth to bear on transforming … rural communities. … We identified in rural areas in Ecuador a burgeoning movement that was created by some pioneering people in the city of ViraPap called the “canasta comunitarias,” or the “community food basket.” They’re basically poor urban neighborhoods that group to purchase together [so they can] save money.
What we did was that we started to work with them so they started to question those purchases, so it wasn’t just about saving money, it was about getting more for their money; getting more nutrients or getting healthier food, or spending their money in such a way that it produces the sort of landscaped that want to see, or relationships they wanted in their communities."
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