La Riojana’s 100% commitment to implementing and following the principles of Fairtrade are perfectly illustrated by the investment we have made towards the health of our community.
A high percentage of La Riojana’s members and workers live in and around the small, isolated villages of Tilimuqui and Malligasta where there is a continuous need for support and investment in conditions that can reach 45ºC in the summer.
Building a new health clinic
This commitment can be seen in the creation of a major new project to build a health clinic capable of providing access to better healthcare for approximately 10,000 local people from the wider community and not just the growers and workers at La Riojana.
Construction of the new clinic is set to begin in early 2016 and will be situated on a three hectares’ site close to the village of Tilimuqui, which is situated 10 kilometres from La Riojana’s main winery in Chilecito. The build itself is expected to take to two to three years.
Similar to the Tilimuqui school project, this project is being largely funded by sales of The Co-operative’s Fairtrade Argentine wine range in the UK, as well as by sales of Ecologica, La Riojana’s successful Fairtrade organic wine brand, distributed by Giertz Vinimport in Sweden.
The new clinic will offer mostly out-patient services, and will be staffed by a team of doctors and nurses who will provide general medical care, as well as maternity care.
It will also act as a research and treatment centre for regional endemic diseases such as Goitre (an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland) and Mal de Chagas-Mazza (a tropical parasitic disease spread by insects).
As part of the project, La Riojana also plans to use the Fairtrade premium to fund the purchase of a dedicated ambulance for the clinic, therefore providing better health cover to our workers and the local communities living in the more remote villages.
Individual care and support
As well as aiming to provide medical support and equipment for all our working community, we at La Riojana are also able to provide individual help to those with special needs and illnesses.
Thanks to the Fairtrade Premium we have been able to helped fund a number of health related projects including:
- an audiometer as well as newborn and infant hearing screen equipment
- free medicine, blood pressure monitors and thermometers to local First Aid centres in Tilimuqui and Malligasta
- a motorised wheelchair, an orthopaedic chair, a medical bed, and hearing aid for specific members with illnesses.
Better healthcare from improved water facility
The Tilimuqui water project, which dates back to 2008, has transformed the lives and health of the local community by providing them with a reliable supply of clean drinking water.
In what was the first joint project between La Riojana and the UK retailer, The Co-operative, the water initiative has brought enormous health benefits to one of our local communities that had been suffering from serious illnesses and hygiene problems, made worse by the lack of a fresh water supply.
The village of Tilimuqui now has access to a reservoir with over 150,000 litres of water thanks to its 160m deep well and 10,000 litre water tank.