- The cooperative, made up of members of the Mapuche Pehuén Mapu community, with the support of Enel, the Municipality of Lonquimay, Indap, and Sercotec, took first place in the “Good Practices for a More Sustainable Electricity Future 2021” competition, organized by Generadoras de Chile.
At noon on Thursday, June 23, a ceremony was held to celebrate the first prize for the “We Kimun, Potato Production, and Storage” agricultural cooperative. This initiative seeks to rescue the traditional cultivation of potatoes and increase its yield and quality with the incorporation of modern technology.
The main characteristic of its production is that the process is conducted with minimal chemical intervention without using agrochemicals to control pests and diseases. This benefits the soil and the spring water used during cultivation, giving its unique quality.
The ceremony included the participation of the award-winning community, representatives of Enel Chile, Indap, Sercotec, and the Municipality of Lonquimay, together with members of the Generadoras de Chile team.
"The We Kimun Cooperative must feel immensely proud of what it has achieved. Alto Biobío and the Municipality of Lonquimay are isolated areas where opportunities are often lacking. We can achieve remarkable results with good practices like this, developed jointly by communities, associated companies, and other relevant actors in the area. Creating shared value in the different territories is an essential pillar of a fair and sustainable energy transition. The development of energy projects is also good news for the communities and allows us to say that we are good neighbors," said Claudio Seebach, executive president of Generadoras de Chile.
The We Kimun Cooperative is located in Lonquimay, in the mountainous Contraco sector in Chile’s Araucanía Region. The work carried out has added value to the products and by-products and increased income for those families participating in the program.
Projections highlighted by the community include the rational use of resources through crop rotation and the reinvestment of a portion of the revenue in equipment and supplies to continue scaling the initiative.
“After several years of collaborative work and learning, both in crop management and in the management of alliances and resources, the We Kimun agricultural cooperative is today a successful venture, not only because in concrete terms such as bringing prosperity to the families but because it has allowed them to broaden their expectations about the future. It is a program that we support with particular affection, and we trust that it will be maintained and continue to grow,” commented Antonella Pellegrini, manager of Sustainability and Community Relations at Enel Chile.
Delivering knowledge for life
For the first time in the competition's history, a specific prize was awarded to the community that would provide them with tools to continue developing. For that reason, Generadoras de Chile invited the winners to co-develop and participate in a program certified by the Universidad Católica on relevant topics. After hours of study and face-to-face classes, the participating students also graduated at the ceremony.
“We are thrilled to receive this award, which is a recognition of the years of work of an entire community. We hope that this is the first step towards a better future and that we can share the knowledge we acquire to continue growing and developing. We thank Enel for their support, everyone who made this initiative possible, and Generadoras de Chile for selecting us,” said Sergio Silva, president of the Pehuén Mapu community.
There is an increasing number of projects in which electricity generation companies associate with social organizations and various public-private entities to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the communities surrounding their plants throughout Chile.
Since 2018, Generadoras de Chile has held the “Good Practices for a More Sustainable Electricity Future” contest to promote good practices for the best generation and use of electricity in the context of energy transition. It is aimed at its member companies and the communities in the territories where the companies operate, with the participation of neighborhood associations, local authorities, and NGOs, among other actors.
The jury on this occasion was made up of prominent figures from the public and private sectors. You can review all the initiatives highlighted in the competition here.
Learn more about the initiative in this video and see the participants share their stories.
About Generadoras de Chile
We are the trade union representing the electricity generation companies operating in Chile. Our vision is to be the articulators of a carbon-neutral Chile, promoting the sustainable development of society and industry through electricity and the adoption of renewable energies.
The association comprises a broad and diverse group of companies that develop, build, and operate energy projects in all technologies present in Chile, renewable and thermoelectric. Our current partners are AES Chile, AME, Colbún, Cerro Dominador, EDF, Enel, Engie, Generadora Metropolitana, Global Power Generation (GPG), Guacolda, Inkia Energy, Latin America Power (LAP), Pacific Hydro, Prime Energía, Repsol Ibereólica Renewables, and Statkraft.
Press contact: Francisca Hidalgo | firstname.lastname@example.org | +56 993459377