SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – U.S. Trade Representative Robert B.
Zoellick today announced that the U.S. government, through its Agency for
International Development (USAID), will make a $500,000 contribution to the CAFTA Alliance
Fund of the Humane Society of the United States. These funds will support
environmentally sustainable and humane agriculture as well as the protection of
wildlife and habitat in Central American countries currently negotiating a U.S.-Central
American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The announcement took place at Shuchil, a small
Salvadoran company that produces organic soaps, including a line of natural
shampoos and soaps for pets.
"The United States is working to link aid with trade, and to
partner with private groups that can promote sustainable development in the CAFTA region,"
said Zoellick. "There is a growing market in the United States for organic and
environmentally-friendly products. In this project, USAID will join with the Humane Society
to assist small producers in our Central American FTA partners who want to sell
organic products to high-value specialty markets in the United States and
Shuchil is operated out of the home of Ms. Matilde Carillo de
Palomo in San Salvador. The company produces organic soaps and shampoos, many of which are
made from traditional Mayan formulas and ingredients. Most of the company’s
employees are women from rural areas outside of San Salvador. Shuchil is seeking
to expand its exports of a line of natural pet products, such as shampoos and soaps for
pets. The Humane Society will provide technical assistance to Shuchil in having its
products certified and sold under the "Certified Humane" label in the United States and
"We appreciate the leadership and creativity of the Humane Society
in working to support sustainable trade with Central America. This grant shows
that the U.S. government, environmental groups and the private sector can work
together to find winwin solutions that help everyone benefit from the CAFTA," said
Zoellick is visiting Central America October 1-3, to discuss the
ongoing U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) negotiations with the
Presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua; Central American trade ministers;
legislators; and, members of the private sector and civil society.
The $500,000 contribution from the U.S. Agency for International
Development will help support humane slaughter of animals, in addition to improving
customs regulations to control illicit trade in animals. A sustainable agriculture
component of the program will support the export of organic products such as Shuchil’s shampoos
and soaps, the export of organic cacao, and the promotion of high quality organic
coffee. The Humane Society, working with its partners in the CAFTA Alliance Fund,
will also provide funds for this effort.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a member of the
Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S.
Trade Representative and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on international
trade and environmental issues. HSUS was one of the first non-governmental organizations
to become a resource partner in capacity building efforts supporting the CAFTA negotiations.
The CAFTA Alliance is a group of non-government and private sector
groups dedicated to sustainable development in Central America. Led by the Humane
Society of the United States, it also includes Counterpart International, Earth
Council Costa Rica, Earth Voice and resource partners such as Stewart and Stewart of
Washington, DC, Caribbean Conservation Corporation of Costa Rica, Humane Farm Animal Care of
Herndon, Virginia, ARCAS (Asociación de Rescate y Conservación de Vida
Silvestre) in Guatemala, AMARAS of Honduras, SalvaNatura of El Salvador,
FAZOONIC (Fundacion Amigos del Zoolologic Nicaraguense) of Nicaragua,
ForesTrade of Vermont and Guatemala and Costa Rican Cocoa, San Jose, Costa