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Less than 20% of Puerto Rico’s current fresh produce consumption is local. As an island, this situation can be precarious in an emergency as recently seen during Hurricane Maria’s aftermath. Many small local farmers do not have a consistent venue to sell their products, as large farms and multinational companies have taken over the market.
Al Sol de Hoy is working to provide small farmers with consistent income and planning capability by purchasing, packaging and delivering their fresh local produce, in “Cajitas” (boxes) to families living in urban areas around the island. 90% of Al Sol de Hoy’s employees are women. This is a conscious decision made by its founder to fight back the inequality and negative perception of women's contribution capability in Puerto Rico's agricultural industry
Al Sol de Hoy’s original idea came to life in Miliany Berrios’ mind when she moved from the city back to her farming roots in the mountains of Barranquitas in Central Puerto Rico. During its inception, Al Sol de Hoy provided fresh herbs for restaurants from her farm. After Hurricane María’s pounding of the Caribbean islands, demand from restaurants dwindled. Most importantly, Puerto Ricans' dependency on imported produce was exposed as the complex situation in the island delayed transportation and delivery of goods to supermarkets. Many of Puerto Rico’s farmlands had been severely affected as well, but not all. Miliany established relationships with small farmers and talked about possible ways to help them recover as quickly and sustainably as possible. Al Sol de Hoy delivers premium quality, local exotic fruits, vegetables, artisan coffee, eggs and even honey. “At first it was a few boxes, and then I had people contacting me from the U.S. to send them something from their homeland.” One key inspiration for Miliany is the satisfaction and sense of responsible consumption she is providing Puerto Rican families. "When we deliver these boxes, we are delivering happiness.”
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Miliany Berrios, Founder