By Makaela Willis, Marketing & Owner Services Assistant
La Riojana is another amazing cooperative brand we carry here at GreenTree and want to celebrate. La Riojana is organized differently from Frontier and GreenTree; they are a farmer/producer based cooperative. Their cooperative produces Argentinian wines, and we carry a selection of their Fair Trade options.
What does it mean to be a farmer or producer based cooperative? It means that the farmers and producers of the grapes are the Owners of the organization, creating a strong community that is working to make amazing changes for the environment and the farmers’ lives. La Riojana was started in the 1940s and has grown into a co-op where the growers share their grapes with each other to be able to create more and better wines. Now, La Riojana is one of the largest cooperatives in Argentina and ranks third in the country for wine exportation by volume.
To learn more about La Riojana and how their many members work together check out their about us page.
La Riojana was the first Argentine winery to become Fair Trade certified (in 2006) and now they are the largest Fair Trade wine producer in the world! Since that year they have been able to help support their members, workers, and their local communities with over 15 million pesos in revenue. The cooperative uses these funds to invest in many vital services and resources, including providing fresh running water in isolated villages and healthcare and secondary schools for the families of their members and workers and the larger communities they live in.
Not only are they Fair Trade certified, they are also OPP certified in Argentina. That means that 100% of their production and their growers are Fair Trade certified and that at least 50% of their membership and wine volume comes from small producers. La Riojana is committed to working with their members to invest in their future and the future of the environment around them. Right now, they are working on reducing their collective carbon footprint; from the vineyards to the wineries. They are also working on increasing their certified organic production from 12% of total production to 100% by 2025. Learn more about their amazing projects on their website.
We carry 5 of La Riojana Co-op’s wines from one of their 11 unique labels: Fair Trade Rose, Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Torrontés. Each wine has a description of its flavors and notes posted near it on the shelf as well as on the back of the bottle. I tried the Malbec and found it to be very nice and just like its description – smooth. You can find these tasty cooperative wines at GreenTree in the wine area and on a special display near the bulk department. These wines are also a steal of a deal at $8.99 a bottle!