The wine company Cooperativa La Riojana inaugurated the facilities of the “Los Pioneros – Roberto Mantovani” Health Center in Tilimuqui, La Rioja, Argentina. The event was attended by associates, workers and authorities, among others.
In the new building, which is 800 meters long, medical care will be provided to mothers and children from nearby rural towns. The building has clinics, a laboratory, an emergency room and telemedicine. The funds for its construction have been obtained from the Fairtrade premium for the export of certified wines of the organization.
“We are showing that cooperativism is an important tool for producers to build a large company and supply both the internal and external markets, it employs more than 2,000 families, and it is an important support for the economy of the area, carrying out works important and useful for the community like the one we open today”, said the president of the Cooperative, Mario González.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health of La Rioja, Juan Carlos Vergara, stated that the work “is very relevant for the health system, because it comes to strengthen the first level of care for people who need it most, providing accessibility and equity.”
La Riojana COOP has 350 members, 270 employees and more than 2,000 families, who work directly and indirectly in its value chains. Its vineyards are located in the Famatina Valleys and its production centers are distributed in five wineries located in Chilecito, Ciudadela, Villa Union (La Rioja), Tinogasta (Catamarca) and Tupungato (Mendoza).
The Cooperative processes more than 30 million kilos of grapes, producing 25 million liters of wine each year, more than 30% of its production is organic and has a thousand hectares of certified farms, which makes it the main Argentinian winery in that category.
Currently, it exports its products to more than 20 countries in the European Community, the United Kingdom, and North America, among others.
WITH FAIRTRADE´S VISION
Since obtaining Fairtrade certification in 2006, La Riojana COOP has promoted more than 40 social and environmental responsibility projects. Among his works with the greatest impact developed in Tilimuqui, the drinking water network, the agrotechnical pre-university school attended by 550 students and the Health Center that has been inaugurated can be highlighted.
For these initiatives, it has had contributions from its strategic allies: The Coop, from the United Kingdom, and Giertz Vinimport, from Sweden, whose director, Bjorn Wittmark, attended the event where he expressed that “we are proud and honored to be part of this Fairtrade path together with La Riojana COOP and The Coop”.