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About us

Manna’s History

According to the Bible, Manna means, “the supernatural food supplied by a miracle in the desert”. Manna Organic Culture and Living Association was established in 2007. It is currently the only aboriginal group that practices “Collective organic farming” on A Li Mountain (also known as “Alishan”), Taiwan.

Manna’s Goal

Manna strives to preserve the Taiwanese aboriginal culture and the highland natural environment. Its objective is to enhance the quality of living among the aborigine by developing organic agriculture on Alishan. Furthermore, the association promotes the concept of healthy eating, organic living, as well as respecting Mother Nature.

Manna’s Work

Manna’s educational scheme provides the aboriginal community with knowledge and consultation in organic farming, as well as training in producing organic fertilizer from kitchen leftovers. As a result, the farmers could not only enrich the soil organically, but also lower their farming costs. Manna’s method helps the Alishan aboriginal farming community build a sustainable business in the competitive market. The association has demonstrated a successful model that combines environment protection, aboriginal culture conservation, and the economics development of Taiwan.

Manna’s Approaches

  1. Manna insists on converting deserted farms or fertilized farms to organic ones, rather than developing new land.
  2. To avoid over-burdening the farming land, the area of each cultivated farm is less than 5000 square meters. There is also enough distance among all the cultivated farms to ensure the conservation of water and soil.
  3. The quality of the organic crops is maintained through nationally recognized certification processes.
  4. More than just the producer of organic crops, Manna also takes up the role of the “protector” of the land.
  5. Manna’s concept of “community supported agriculture” fulfills their promises to become the eco-warriors.

Manna’s Services

  • The know-how of organic farming is passed on to the farmers by experienced trainers during the training course
  • Manna’s professional team demonstrates hands-on farming skills in the field.
  • The environment protection plans are realized through various activities such as eco tours, corporation volunteering, and other campaigns.
  • Training up the tribes in organizing and operating independently, and discovering talents for potential future leaders.
  • “Xsin De Foundation” was established to offer small loans to aboriginal farmers who are involved in organic farming
  • Promoting the establishment of social enterprises
  • Assisting fellow farmers in applying for farming tools from the government

Manna’s Educational Scheme

Manna would set up so called “society” at the local areas where the aboriginal farmers require its services. The members of each society vote to choose a president and a vice president. The cadre members then work with the headquarter to plan the training scheme. The planning involves designing courses and inviting trainers in the fields of organic farming, human resources, as well as the regulations of organic crops certification. The purpose of these courses is to educate and to assist tribal members in organic farming knowledge and techniques.

The training session is on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

Contents of the training:

  • System related training: core value sets sharing; mind growth sessions; and the use of the Internet, etc.
  • Professional organic farming training: growing and caring crops such as vegetables, coffee, and tea; fertilizing and maintaining the soil; harvesting, utilizing, and processing the produce, etc.
  • Knowledge in getting certified: the regulations, the standards, and the process regarding organic crops certification.
  • Observations: visiting organic farms and social enterprises.

Organic certification Consultation

The certificate is like a “passport”. This identification acknowledges the organic production processes, and allows the produce be distributed in the organic market.

The approach Manna uses is group certification. Each farmer has to record in details the farming process including the preparation of the farmland, seedling, field planting, watering, harvesting, processing, as well as distributing. Each step has to be documented properly with facts and numbers.

To ensure the whole production process is truly organic, all farmers are required to follow closely the related regulations.

About Auroras

The idea of “Auroras Social Enterprise” was generated when a staff from Manna Organic Culture and Living Association was having a conversation with his three friends about how to share and distribute the organic produce from the mountain tribes. The four of them later created “Auroras Social Enterprise”, which is the first Taiwanese company that incorporatessocial enterprise” in its identity. The main job of Auroras is to provide a platform for trading organic produce from aboriginal tribes. This social enterprise helps create job opportunities for Manna members, work out the logistics in supplying Manna’s produce to the city, and further allocates its profits back to the development and education of organic farming.

Auroras has become a crucial partner of Manna. Its “guaranteed acquisition price” strategy protects Manna farmers from being exploited by the market distribution merchants. Therefore, the farmers are free from all the worries about the prices affected by the seasons, weathers, and pest attacks.

Currently, Auroras Social Enterprise is associated with more than 40 aboriginal farmers from Alishan and Nantou County. Their main categories are coffee, tea, and leafy vegetables. Auroras’s innovative approaches have been recognized, and this social enterprise has reached many companies and communities.