Create businesses that represent growers of local produce. This collective model increases marketing and awareness of the food being produced in the region, which reduces the carbon footprint and helps people eat seasonal. Educating consumers to eat well leads to an upward spiral of consumption through these businesses, keeping the money in the Queensland community. There can be a social side to the enterprises. Runa uses their profits to reforest the Amazon using agroforestry methods, which benefits the community of tea growers. For this challenge it's best to work with the QLD community to come up with appropriate solutions to their environmental and food challenges.
Runa built a business model in partnership with the indigenous communities of Ecuador around the sale of naturally caffeinated leaves of the Amazonian guayusa (why‐YOU‐suh) tree.
Runa works with over 600 farmers in Ecuador, exclusively owning and operating the only Guayusa supply chain in the world. In less than one year of full operations, Runa has planted over 75,000 trees in more than 120 hectares of agroforesty plots, and paid over $6,000 of supplementary income for guayusa leaves harvested from existing trees to over 150 farmers. Runa initially raised their incomes by over 25% each.