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The main part of Peru’s population are farmers. Their income and the standard of living is very low for most of the country’s almost 30 million citizens. More than 150,000 of the families living in rural areas in the Andes mountains live below the poverty line and almost half of the young children in these families suffer from permanent malnutrition. Approximately 80% of the families’ incomes come from their alpacas, making their livelihoods vulnerable as conditions in the heights above 3000 meters are harsh and unpredictable.
More than 80 % of all Peruvian alpaca wool is sold to two large producers. The two large producers control the entire production process and thus get the majority of the earnings of the produced yarn. Our mission is to contribute to support better living conditions for a number of people currently living in poverty. Therefore we buy our Frisenvang knitting yarn directly from the communities in the villages in the Andes mountains instead of from the large alpaca wool companies. When the alpaca breeders trade with Frisenvang they do not just deliver the wool, but they also perform the carding, hand spinning, plant coloring and packaging.
We thus ensure that the farmers get a much larger share of the profit. As a result, these communities can improve their overall standard of living, here and now, and ultimately, get new opportunities; Their children incl. girls can get an education and they have access to better medical care. Over time this will enhance their abilities to create a business that is large enough to include others in the communities.
The project we support counts 265 families. The women, many of which are illiterate, are an important part in the cooperation with Frisenvang; It is primarily the women who are responsible for further processing the wool, thus contributing positively to the family household.
The Frisenvang sweaters and ponchos are produced at IFER Knitwear – a small factory in one of Lima’s suburbs. The skilled craftsmen are working in very good environments. When we visit IFER, we meet happy, openminded and sweet employees and it is tempting to sit with a cup of coffee to participate in the cozy conversation at the table, where sweaters are sewn together.
Our woven products: Shawls, scarves and plaids are produced at Textile Colca. A very professional and skilled company with years of experience in handling the expensive alpaca wool. The company provides permanent employment and good working conditions for a large number of employees in a country burdened by poverty and low incomes.