Empowering Women

Nidi Davolio

Nidi Noelia Davolio is a small producer from Medrano in the Mendoza wine growing region of Argentina. Out of the four hectares on her farm, three is used to cultivate high quality Chardonnay. In an environment where having a woman at the helm of a business is still frowned upon, Nidi courageously said “yes” to the challenge to take ownership of the farm left by her father, ten years ago.

Together with the ongoing support of Fairhills Argentina, she obtained Fairtrade certification in 2008 and has uphold this status ever since. Talking about what Fairhills has meant to her, was very emotional. “I am very grateful to be part of the Fairhills project, otherwise I would not have been in a position to obtain a fair price for my grapes as a small producer. I would not have been able to survive as prices fluctuate yearly due to the unstable economy. Apart from that the costs of the viticultural consumables to maintain soil and production are very expensive. So, if I do not receive a fair price for my produce, I will not be able to maintain my business.”

Humbly, Nidi always emphasises the help she receives from her trading partner, Mendoza Vineyards. “I receive enormous assistance from them. They are not only the buyer of my produce, but also my partner in the supply chain. They introduced my business to Fairtrade certification and contribute financially to the costs of Fairtrade audits. The criteria imposed by Fairtrade meant that our working and employment conditions had to be amended to comply to their (Fairtrade) standards. This led to life changing experiences for my employees.”

NIdi and her eldest daughter Noelia

As a single mother with two daughters, she relies on the success of the farm for herfamily’s livelihood. During 2008 Mendoza Vineyards assisted her to plant an additional 1.3 hectares of vines, the future benefit of which Nidi gratefully acknowledges. “This will nearly double my original production and hugely help me and my family.”

She’s also proud of the work of the Joint Body Committee of Fairhills Davolio Trust in the community. “What I like the most about the Fairhills project is that the Joint Body can assist the community to grow. Medrano is a very small town and helping schools, sport clubs and hospitals (by using fairtrade premiums) is really rewarding for us. Fairtrade is something special and it is necessary to inform people about the meaning of it. I try in my own capacity to spread the word and the value of the benefits everyone receives.”

Written by Maria Jose da Rosas
Translated from Spanish by Ana Lis Sosa

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