The Cycle of Zue
Cauca is an agricultural region in Colombia, South America and home to the indigenous Paez tribe. In recent years, this area suffered a severe economic collapse. Violence between armed groups in the region caused many businesses to sever relationships with the Paez farmers who were simply caught in the crossfire. Sadly, this led to poverty, poor harvests and even starvation for the Paez people. At Zue, as part of our ongoing commitment to making the world a better place, we saw an opportunity to help the Paez farmers. We supplied them with up-to- date, more effective tools for harvesting quinoa—the key active ingredient in our beauty products. We’ve built an excellent relationship with the Paez farmers, providing training and modern equipment which has led to cleaner, healthier and more efficient production practices.
Due to the world’s population growth, as well as the development of technology, the demand for natural inputs such as vegetables and fruits is increasing. Parallel to this, monocrops which are large plantations of a single crop species, are on the rise. Because monocrops work with strong pesticides and most of these crops are genetically modified (GMO), they are standardized, mass-produced and commercially affordable. This type of sowing is leaving the organic crops of indigenous people behind. Monocropping not only leaves a negative impact on the environment, but also on the Paez people. Since their crops are organic, it takes them more time to harvest and their plots are very small, making their production levels lower than those of the monocrop plantations. The Paez have always worked Quinoa organically, and it’s part of their culture. They have dancing rituals around their harvests and involve their families in the farming.