Whole World Botanicals has partnered for more than a decade with the Quechua-speaking communities who grow our organic maca roots in the high Peruvian Andes. WWB pays a floor price, which is above market price, for the maca roots. This allows the peasant producers with only a small land base to purchase basic necessities such as food which cannot be locally grown, clothing, transportation, school materials for their children and to live with dignity. Paying by a Fair Trade price has also permitted enough savings for a land-poor maca-growing community to build a low-heat solar dryer for drying the maca roots with technical assistance and an interest-free loan provided by the WWB.
Traditionally, the freshly harvested maca roots have been allowed to dry for six to eight weeks in the open air on the ground. With the disruptive global climate changes, the dry season, which permits this type of drying, is no longer totally dry. By drying the roots in an open structure with a plastic roof, the maca roots can be kept free of the rain while continuing to sun-dry in the traditional way. Recent scientific research has confirmed the great superiority of traditional slow sun-drying of maca roots for preserving their hormone-balancing properties to the quick drying in electrical dryers used today in most commercial maca production. Paying Fair Trade prices has also enabled maca-growing communities with a large land base to make capital investments.