The countries in the Andes have a certain level of food independence. However, the entire food industry there is controlled by a handful of dominant actors, and this means higher prices for the consumer and lower and unstable prices for the producer. Against this backdrop, different alternatives for marketing in shorter circuits are developing in the Andes.
In 2013, through its "Marchés paysans" ["SMALLHOLDER MARKETS"] project, AVSF has helped nearly 8,000 smallholder families from 26 different organizations directly sell their products at both the local and national levels in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. AVSF advises the smallholder organizations in their negotiations with local authorities over where they can sell their products and helps the organizations determine prices, develop the capacities to process their own products, and get their initiatives recognized by specific public policies.
Even though they are still limited with regard to the larger-scale market dynamics, the initiatives that AVSF is supporting in the Andes have a high potential for growth. For example, the marché paysan [SMALLHOLDER MARKET] that AVSF supports in Cusco, Peru, feeds more than 20,000 consumers each week!
In Cuenca, Ecuador, annual sales of agro-ecological products in the markets have considerably increased since 2009, surpassing 1 million euros. These alternatives need to be supported by public authorities because they help reduce inequality in three major areas: financial inequality, food-sovereignty inequality, and inequality in terms of natural-resource preservation.