Dating back four generations, La Riojana, one of the largest cooperative wineries in Argentina, has been in existence since the 1940s. At that time, families moving into La Rioja province were planting vines and growing grapes, working together to form what has become a successful cooperative business that has more than stood the test of time. Over those years, hundreds of families moved into the area and became member- producers, many of whom are still part of the cooperative to this day.
La Riojana collaborates with National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and its members, like Hunger Mountain Co-op, to bring Fairtrade certified wine and olive oil to co-op grocery stores in the US – and bring water, healthcare, and education to over 500 families in the desert of Argentina.
The food co-ops and La Riojana have agreed that the Fairtrade premium included in the cost of the wine (which is roughly $1 per case) would go toward paying the cost of the organic certification for all La Riojana’s small growers. Co-ops participated by selling, promoting, and displaying La Riojana wines and olive oil, leading to strong sales.
Recently, a major project has been undertaken demonstrating another way La Riojana puts that success back into supporting their community. A new Health Centre is being built with the goal of bringing healthcare to 10,000 people living in the villages of Tilimuqui, Malliagasta, and other surrounding communities. March and April of this year saw the foundations completed and the brick and column work nearly finished. Much of the other initial work is either in process or has just been started, including installing eclectics and beams.
When finished, the building will have three sections. First, a maternity care section, including an operating theatre, delivery room, maternity ward, nursery, and emergency treatment room. The second section will be the main public area, including café, kitchen, laundry room, and office spaces.The final section will have outpatient consulting rooms dedicated to gynecology, dentistry, pediatrics, and other areas.
“We have designed the new building so that it will provide primary medical care for mothers and children, as well as general medical services. We have also included an area for clinical research with an analysis laboratory for endemic diseases,” says the Health Centre’s architect Decler Fernandez.
Along with our other co-op-made wines, all varieties of La Riojana wine are on sale and will be for the foreseeable future. Whenever you buy a bottle of this excellent wine at a fantastic price, you will be contributing to projects like the health center and many others. Find out more about La Riojana and the impact they have had at the links below: