World Localisation Day is celebrated on June 20th. There was a time when globalization was all the rage, but we are now returning to our old ways of physical interactions with other human beings in the flesh.
Here in Ibiza it is evident that residents are increasingly committed to their environment. The local economy, which in recent decades has focused on tourism, depends largely on the island’s nature conservation and biodiversity. And, in turn, this depends on the regeneration of the soil to enrich it with the nutrients and minerals required to feed the almond trees, fig trees, carob trees, orange trees, lemon trees and everything that is part of our attractive landscape. Therefore, although it does not seem obvious, the tourism sector also needs all the farmers who take care of and recover the abandoned farmland of the island.
It is reassuring to see that young Ibicencos, aged between 30-40 years old, are waking up to the need to safeguard traditional culture, including agricultural traditions. A group of them, with great enthusiasm, created the Ecofeixes cooperative in 2013, to help each other recover their grandparents’ land, share experiences and good practices, solve challenges, sell products and create a network of organic farmers. Today the cooperative has 14 member farms, most of whom are work part-time on their farms, combining this with another job, although with the dream of living exclusively as a farmers as soon as this becomes economically feasible.
After a sharp increase in demand for local produce in 2020, the cooperative is ready for its next step. In order to grow and sell more product, an investment is needed to improve its infrastructure and expand its physical premises. Within the framework of this expansion project, the first step of the cooperative has been to buy a 100% electric van, in line with its philosophy of sustainability. The van allows the team to be more efficient in deliveries to restaurants and shops.
The Ecofeixes’ expansion strategy is, however, even more ambitious. It consists of three main axes. First, increase visibility through investing in a website with an online store, in addition to a greater presence on social networks and an advertising campaign. Secondly, a focus on the distribution of product in large supermarkets using sustainable packaging. And, finally, the investment in a new point of direct sale for end customers, where orders made online or via Whatsapp can be collected, and with more space to store the produce.
The cooperative has already raised funding from both public entities, such as the Consell d’Eivissa and FOGAIBA (Fondo De Garantía Agraria y Pesquera De Las Illes Balears), as well as private ones, for example Trasmapi and the Norwegian company Wilstar. But at the same time Ecofeixes wants to involve the island’s residents in the initiative, so that it is a project of all the people who believe in a more ecological and sustainable Ibiza.
Therefore, they have launched a crowdfunding with (Ma), an entity of the island, where those who want to participate can make donations in exchange for gifts, for example vouchers for baskets of local organic products. Contributions can be made through: http://thinkma.world/projects/compra-sostenible/
As IbizaPreservation, we are pleased to support and promote this initiative. Like us, Ecofeixes producers have as their priority the sustainability of the island. In addition, the small-scale farms run by their partners use agricultural practices appropriate to local conditions, which rely more on human attention and care and thus alleviate the worst impacts of the global food system.
Supporting the farmers’ cooperatives and producers of Ibiza is supporting a wider far-reaching cause: the local economy, a more diverse and balanced landscape, soil regeneration and a higher carbon capture capacity, as well as a reduction in the carbon footprint and the use of plastic packaging. The future of our island depends on all these factors, and the key lies in the hands of those who dedicate themselves to their land.
“The most effective way to solve our social and ecological problems is to shift economic support towards strengthening local economies. When we localise, we rebuild our connections between ourselves and with the natural world. A local food economy never remains isolated; it is connected to other threads of the social fabric in ways that make entire communities healthier and more resilient. LOCAL IS OUR FUTURE.”
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Founder of Local Futures