The capital city of Rio Grande do Sul is a great example of fair and clean food farming
By Letícia Rocha
Saturday 7am in Porto Alegre and there is a place already in full swing: the street market. In particular the FAE, Ecologist Agriculturalist Fair specialized in organic products. For 25 years it has been gathering together a group of about 50 producers mostly from agricultural families coming from every nook of Rio Grande do Sul.
Considered one of the biggest organic trade fairs in the world in number of exhibitors, FAE has been conceived by the Ecological Cooperative Coolmeia, extinct in 2004. In order to avoid the end of the initiative that was considered a cultural state program the exhibitors formed a free entity: the Solidary Ecologist Agriculturalist.
One such exhibitor is Juarez Pereira who grows biodynamic rice in Barra do Ribeiro, Porto Alegre. He sells at least four varieties of rice: black, red, fragrant, mochi and the board mix ( a special blend) in his weekly stall.
The Bos Wolff family from Viamão (44km from the capital city) is a pioneer in the area and is famous for honey and all its products such as cosmetics and candles. The busy Quinta do Livramento stall sells a plethora of mushrooms grown in Osório (about 100km from Porto Alegre).
You can also find native fruit like guabiroba, butia and araçá vermelho in the fair. Not only will you find a variety of fruits and vegetables but also all your grocery list : honey, biscuits, bread, flowers, basketry and natural remedies. In case you get hungry while shopping you won’t find it difficult to find good options for a snack or a lunch: vegan savouries, cakes and even pasta.
Everywhere you look you will find signs, boards, posters promoting the common ideology: ‘I’m an ecologist agriculturalist for the good of health and work’ ‘Ecological Agriculture aims at not generating polluting waste and this process must continue in our fair. This stall does not offer plastic bags. Bring your own and help the environment.’
The street market is from 7h to 13h every Saturday. Come early and enjoy the variety.
FAE – Feira dos Agricultores Ecologistas
Avenida José Bonifácio, 675, Bom Fim, Porto Alegre, RS; tel. (51) 9 9966-6827.