Consuming in solidarity

abuela Tlanespilli and Elizabeth Chaparro at the mercadito flor de luna, Jalisco, Mexico.

In Jalisco, consuming toxic free food means rebellion, resistance, organization and solidarity in the hands of rural women who bet on agriculture for life!

Self-care, such an important issue in these times of pandemic, provokes deep reflection on what enters our mouths, what we feed ourselves and strengthen our vital systems with. Also where we leave our money.

Five years ago, the Flor de Luna Alternative Solidarity Market was born as a social economy solidarity project of the Ecofeminist Benita Galeana School A.C., and since then it has been selling fresh and toxic free products in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Mercadito Flor de Luna refers us to collectively organize ourselves in a network, among women’s groups and cooperatives, to confront the capitalist-patriarchal economic system that has put life at capital’s service.

We have had this experience since the “bad government” allowed itself to be seduced by the transnationals, and we women have been able to organize and participate in different productive and citizen initiatives to confront the economic and environmental crisis that we are still suffering from. Betting on a social solidarity economy project from a feminist economy perspective has been a challenge and a profound achievement.

The market is not only buying and selling but it is the systematization of a long process of collective experiences, knowledge and learning of the groups, organizations and cooperatives of women in the search for alternatives to improve our quality of life, that of our families, our community where the relationship with the care and defense of nature enters.

The Solidarity Basket is one of the marketing initiatives that we have promoted during these five years as a basic pantry of toxic-free products from cooperatives in the region. We want to add more and more cooperatives of local producers to eliminate the coyotaje [intermediates] and reduce the large self-service chains that, as mediators, monopolize profits and weaken the producer. We bet on mutual support and trust between producers and consumers.

Ducange Médor has been a consumer since it learned about the Mercadito through social networks. Every month he is supplied with the basket and he ensures that the products are of very good quality. Besides, “whenever possible I try to buy from small producers rather than from large agro-industrial companies”, he says.

Solidarity in times of COVID-19

Since April, we have started the Wednesday of Fresh [products] campaign as an alternative to the health crisis we are experiencing. This situation has meant that every week there will be a redoubling of efforts between producers and consumers to make a contribution to the current situation.

Consumers response to this initiative was not only for their health care, but also for solidarity with the market and the producers to avoid partial or total closure of the premises, since this would imply the loss of income for many families to support themselves. Ducange Médor – our consumer – thanks the producers “for contributing to our diet. Resist and don’t let yourselves be carried away by the ‘siren songs’ of the transnationals, agrochemicals and similar companies”.

In just three months, we managed to bring more than twelve varieties of food to the Santa Tere neighborhood (metropolitan area of Guadalajara) every week: vegetables and fruits from San Martín de la Flores, Ciudad Guzmán and Zapopan; organic corn tortillas from Temacapulín, an exemplary village that has been fighting for more than ten years to resist and defend its territory.

“I think the Wednesday of Fresh [products] are good, because there aren’t many people, I can choose the products that I like and it’s safer to come every week than every month”, said Irma Patricia, another Mercadito’s consumer who thanks for the quality of the food and the kind treatment.

Facing with the health crisis, we see the opportunity to strengthen our creativity and organization to increase participation, cooperation and solidarity towards the dream we want to achieve: free women in free and autonomous territories!

Text from the School for Women Defenders Benita Galeana A.C

We resist to live, we march to transform!
Liaison Newsletter – July 2020