At noon on Thursday it was very hot at the intersection of Iriarte avenue with Iguazú, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Barracas. Under a narrow eave that gave a short shadow on the sidewalk, a long line – mostly of women – sheltered from the sun, waiting for the third of the Itinerant Fairs that the Ministry of Social Development coordinates within the framework of the National Plan Against Hunger.
The head of the area, Daniel Arroyo, said that starting next Monday, 30 of these fairs will start operating in the conurbano. They will join the existing ones and offer products at the prices agreed in agreements with local cooperatives and companies in the sector. The idea is to respond to an issue that reveals the Government: to lower the value of the basic basket. “To stop hunger, the issue of the cost of food must be resolved,” Arroyo said a few days after taking office, in an interview with LA NACION, last December.
With more than 15 million people below the poverty level and a basic family basket that increased 52.8% last year, these spaces seek to bring more accessible prices to sectors with fewer resources, especially to mothers of minor children 6 years old
who receive the Food Card
, intended for the purchase of food.
Fish, bread, fruits, vegetables, warehouse products, bottled water and dairy products are sold at the fair up to 40% cheaper than in the market and, even, than the Price Care program. The doors opened at 13 and at four in the afternoon all the stands had already had to be disassembled due to lack of merchandise. “My dad told me, because he works in the neighborhood's remisery. All the vegetables and fruit at 20 pesos per kilo and milk at 35 pesos. Currently, I am unemployed and I have a 2 year old son. This was very necessary,” he says. Vivian Sosa, 27.
More than 800 people toured the stands. Young mothers, retirees, families, couples and some teenagers left the place with bags of vegetables, fruits, groceries, fish and bread. “This price does not exist. The cremona, at 30 pesos! I have eight brothers and we must feed them all. A pity that we did not buy fish because it was over,” says Natalie Autalán, a 26-year-old girl, accompanied For his mom and a friend.
The fish was the vedette of the day. In less than two hours they finished everything they had brought to sell at 200 pesos a kilo, 30% less than it costs in the market. “We did not know that we were going to sell so much. We have the idea of arriving at all the fairs that will open in the conurbation so that people eat healthy and at an affordable price,” explains Wanda, one of the vendors.
Rafael Klezjer coordinates the traveling fairs. National Director of Marketing and Supply of the Ministry of Social Development, comes from a long career in cooperatives and highlights the importance of these meeting spaces between producer and consumer, without intermediaries.
“We put a lot of emphasis on local production, the regional economy, cooperatives and peasant organizations, instead of negotiating with companies. Today they are ready to assist at scale and have greater organization“he says.
The Social Development portfolio signed agreements with 450 of the 2300 municipalities across the country. His idea is not to settle in new places, but to join the fairs already established, where people usually go. “We want to promote local production and bring them what they need. That is why we approach cooperative producers and make agreements. We also sit down with companies, talk to distributors, guarantee scale and collaborate to fix a reasonable price and accessible to all, “adds Krezjler.
The place is full of colors that identify the organizations that are part of the Argentina Plan Against Hunger, and most of those in charge are part of cooperatives and neighborhood organizations. Some women in orange shirts, from the Popular Consumer Market (Mecopo), sold products from the store. All are around 50 years old. They started being clients and then joined the cooperative.
“We organize ourselves to find the products on our own and sell them very cheaply: noodles at 28 pesos, the kilo of olives at 144 pesos, the soap in bread at 15 pesos,” they say, while offering their findings.
In the case of the bakery, it is part of a workshop at Hogar de Cristo, one of the many areas that offer place and work to street children. “This is a great opportunity to stop being the excluded. With this we show that the street children want to get ahead, work and do something worthy to show our children,” explains Jesus Gonzales, who knew how to be a boy of the Street. Today he is 38 years old, he is a social psychologist and is in charge of the bakery workshop that had been offering his products at government fairs in the city of Buenos Aires, which made an agreement with the National Ministry of Social Development to work together.
The social carafe was another great news at 250 pesos and the authorities expect it to be one of the main benefits in the provinces.
With the chosen products, Arroyo and his team look for consumers to assemble the Accessible Healthy Basic Basket, designed by Social Development professionals, the Ministry of Health and different universities specialized in nutrition.
It is an opportunity to improve the food supply in a whole strip of population that, when choosing, often has to opt for the cheapest and not the healthiest.
Already with the shelves and empty drawers, the path was also depopulated. The balance for the organizers of this first fair in the City was very positive.
Now, the challenge is to reach more neighborhoods, municipalities and provinces, and as a bounce effect, to achieve that, finally, the price of food falls in Argentina.
(tagsToTranslate) From producer to consumer: the Government's proposal to bring fish and vegetables at affordable prices – LA NACION
Publicado en el diario La Nación