Dear friends, family, and others in our community,

We want to take time to share how the Vetiera Fair Trade team is working during the novel coronavirus pandemic that is currently spreading around the world. Based in Minnesota, we are all following CDC recommendations and state executive orders for social distancing and self-quarantine, ensuring that we do not get sick or spread the virus to others. Between the recent political unrest in Haiti and the global concern over travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has also postponed scheduled trips to Haiti to prioritize the safety of both our team members and our partner farmers in Moreau, Haiti.

Moreau has so far not had any cases of COVID-19, primarily due to the village’s location in a rural area. Dr. Jeff Losier is busy coordinating preventative public health initiatives for the community, as he recovers from his kidney transplant in Virginia. We have paid the farmers for the spring honey and beeswax harvest; although Jesse has not been able to travel to Haiti to collect these raw materials, we are happy that the farmers have income for their work and we plan to ship these goods to the United States when the situation is much safer. They continue to plant vetiver and raise bees in their community, ensuring that they can sustainably grow food and generate income during this time.

This does mean that we will not be selling products again for at least a couple months; while we wait for a good time to receive the honey and beeswax we purchased from the farmers, we are going to focus on several other key areas of our mission:

  • Raising awareness of Haiti’s culture, history, natural beauty, and current situation
  • Developing products that incorporate vetiver fibers
  • Preparing to sell our products at local retailers and holiday markets

Stay tuned for updates over the next couple months; we all know that the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing the status quo. We hope that we can use this time to find new ways to support our partner farmers in Moreau and ensure that we can meet their needs if Haiti’s public health situation worsens. We are grateful for your dedication to our mission as we adapt to the changing world situation.

Thank you,
Jesse Abelson
Dalton Schutte
Elizabeth Alonzi
Brie LaPlante
Leeore Levinstein
Becca Desens