- An airport does not merely benefit its users and passengers. It also represents an opportunity for growth for its neighboring populations. This November the Mariscal Sucre International Airport has opened one of the first stores in the region offering products 100% generated by families who live in the parishes surrounding the area.
Productive activities, development of abilities, good manufacturing practices, emerging agriculture and shared values all come together into one of the most representative social responsibility projects launched by Corporación Quiport, the concessionaire of the Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport.
Located at Quito Airport Center building across the street from the airport passenger terminal, 16 farmers and their families from Puembo, Pifo, Tababela, Yaruqui and Checa are managing and directing “Nuestra Huerta” (Our Garden), one of the first regional establishments offering local agricultural products.
Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO of Corporación Quiport, explains that this is the continuation of a project that began three years ago for purposes of combining the presence of the Quito Airport with the area´s agricultural and productive potential.
“Since opening in 2013, Quipor, in charge of managing the Quito International Airport, has focused on improving the quality of life of our neighboring populations. As such we have encouraged projects involving empowerment, production development, and links with the communities. Today we proudly open this store which represents the possibility of collaboration between an airport and the communities surrounding it”, Andrew O’Brian said on its inauguration.
Conceived as an entrepreneurial project derived from Quiport’s Social Management Plan, with the technical support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), “Nuestra Huerta” evolved towards a shared value scheme; that is, as a strategy that analyzes the social environment in which an organization performs, to renew its processes and generate profits while impacting communities positively. The first stage of “Nuestra Huerta” was focused on training plans for the residents of the area. Once they developed their capabilities their products were delivered to employees of airport companies, thus creating a productive chain. This whole process is why the presence of the representative of the IDB in Ecuador, Fernando Quevedo, was very important in the opening event.
Once the project was consolidated, “Nuestra Huerta” producers founded the community enterprise named Productora Agrícola Alpachaca Muyverde Cia. Ltda., allowing them to manage the store located inside the airport. “Since the beginning of airport construction we saw the possibility of helping our families; now that “Nuestra Huerta” is already operating our wishes have become a reality and we are confident that our products will be well received by our visitors”, Rebeca Baquero, the organization’s president, explained.
“Nuestra Huerta” is now operating and offers airport employees and users the opportunity to consume healthy products prepared according to quality standards. It also allows the families living in the vicinity of the airport the possibility of having an undertaking of their own that recognizes their abilities and their daily work.