Jim Ruiz, Director of Fairtrasa Peru, featured on Farming First

Organic Fairtrade banana farmer cooperative with Jim Ruiz of Fairtrasa Peru

Jim (second from right) was featured in Farming First’s #IAmAg campaign spotlighting young leaders and innovators in the global agriculture sector. Read the whole story at the Farming First website.

Agriculture is in my blood: I come from a family of farmers near Sullana, Peru, who grew corn, rice, cotton, and bananas. But unlike many of my peers in my community, I was able to afford university studies, and graduated with a degree in agricultural engineering in 2002.

My early experience taught me that the life of a small-scale farmer is extremely difficult. For generations, small-scale farmers in my region were stuck in a rigid pattern. Farming was not profitable for them, and they couldn’t afford to feed their children well and send them to school. My goal as a professional was to create opportunity for families and young people to escape this pattern. But I didn’t know how….