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>> Breeds of corn that have grown in Mexico for centuries will be given the same special status as fine chocolate and coffee, a Fair Trade label, and that may mean a boom for the countries farmers. Reuters correspondent, David Alire Garcia, is in Mexico.>> Here in Otzolotepec, Mexico, where corn farmers all around this area dedicate themselves to growing these kinds of amazing, colorful corns, called landrace maize.
There's many varieties of these. And a new certification for these farmers who grow these kinds of corn could allow them to sell more at a higher price.>> The new certification for these varieties could make them staples that up scale grocers, like Whole Foods in the United States.
Farmer Clementi Henriques has been carefully selecting the best kernels for years>>
> I like the size of the seed and the color and the taste of the tortillas you can make with them. Because not all corn is the same, or has the same flavor.>> Enriquez is not alone.
Other farmers hoping to strike Mexican gold are eager to rebuild their ancient traditions, pummeled by cheap US corn exports that forced more than one million Mexican farmers off their fields. A consequence of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Higher end Mexican corn already gets three times the price of conventional corn, just one incentive to cultivate native corn.
With US tortilla consumption expected to surge into a $30 billion industry In the next eight years, Mexican scientists are now crafting the first ever fair trade certification for traditional corn farmers. Rescuing age old traditions and turning it into tangible revenue.