Trip Itinerary - Ecuador

EcuadorDaily, we consume products with little thought of where they come from, who grew them, how they got to us. During this 9-day visit to Ecuador, we will transform your understanding of where your food comes from and provide profound insights into the importance of fair trade supply chains to protect people and the planet. This trip will be highly beneficial for anyone who works in any way with food & beverage, food service or distribution, grocery, sustainability, or international sourcing and trade.

Option 1 – November 11-19 – 9 days – Cost: $3595

Included: flights, ground travel, food, accommodation, translation and contributions to the co-ops

November 11th – Fly to Quito

Overnight in Quito.

November 12th – Quito

Day to explore Quito, organized visits of the sights and sounds of the city isolated in the Andes at 2,818 m. altitude. The city of Quito is spread along the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano and is bordered by the hills of Panecillo and Ichimbia. Founded by the Spanish in 1534, on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito proudly possesses one of the most extensive and best-preserved historic centres of Spanish America. We will have the day to explore the city. Overnight in Quito.

November 13th – Panela (Whole Cane Brown Sugar)

During our visit to Selva Alegre we will visit farmer’s sugar cane fields and the production facilities that transform sugar cane into an exportable whole cane brown sugar. This artisan production, that now has international market demand, enables small farmers access to a world market. The fair trade market for Panela has had a transformative impact on small scale farmers throughout Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. During this trip, we will explore these transformations. Overnight in Quito

November 14th – Flowers

World trade of cut flowers is estimated to be over $100 billion USD per year. Most of the flowers available in the Canadian market come from Latin America and Ecuador is center stage of the worlds production of roses. The flower industry employs a largely female workforce of poor, less educated and therefore vulnerable workers. It has long had a reputation for poor working conditions including low pay, over-crowded housing and repression of trade unions. Over the past years, conditions have vastly improved for workers in many countries, but there are still challenges. One of the most serious issues in the production of flowers is the exposure of workers, and their environments, to highly toxic chemical pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. Fairtrade aims to protect and benefit workers on flower farms by working with certified farms to ensure decent working conditions for their employees and protecting workers’ rights. These rights encompass economic, environmental and social dimensions of working conditions but also aim to amplify and strengthen the voices and choices of workers’ themselves.

On this day, we will visit two different Fairtrade certified growers and get to learn about the benefits and challenges of this industry. Visits to AGROCOEX and Nevado Roses. Overnight in Ambato.

November 15th – Quinoa

In the morning, we will visit producers and processing facilities for Fairtrade Quinoa. During this visit, we will have access to the experts involved in the export of the highly controversial superfood. In the afternoon, we will visit the social Enterprise Grupo Salinas, a community focused business that produces many different products including chocolate and cheese. Overnight in Guaranda.

November 16th – Cocoa

Ecuador Map

We will visit two different Cocoa producing associations, from the farmers’ fields to the processing facilities and products. By the end of this day you will be an expert at understanding cocoa from seed to bar and will have a deep appreciation for each morsel of chocolate you consume in the future! Overnight in Naranjal.

November 17th - Bananas

We will visit two different producers of Fairtrade certified Bananas and learn about the ins and outs of banana farming and exporting. In the afternoon, we will have a chance to visit an association that produces both bananas and cocoa. Overnight in Guayaquil.

November 18th – Integration

We will spend the day integrating all that we have experienced during this trip. This will involve a beach or natural oasis and time for reflection and conversation.

November 19th – Return to Canada

Fly out of Guayaquil.

Option 2 - November 14-19 - 6 days - Cost: $3250

Included: flights, ground travel, food, accommodation, translation and contributions to the co-ops

November 14th – Fly to Quito

Overnight in Quito

November 15th – Transport to Riobamba

Meet up with the rest of the group. Join the above itinerary starting with Quinoa.

Trip Leads: Jennifer Williams & Sean McHugh

  • Jennifer is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about the intersection of social purpose and business. Jennifer has a degree in anthropology and political science and has lived and worked in Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, and Ghana.
  • Sean is the founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Fair Trade Network. Sean holds a degree in sociology, has lived and worked in Kenya, as well as has travelled to and spent time in numerous countries around the world.

Pre-Departure Orientation

  • In advance of our departure for Ecuador, we will host a meeting and conversation, so that we can run through what to expect, and so that people can get to know each other in advance.