Etnia products are made based on merquén. Merquén is a special kind of Chilean smoked chili (similar to hot red pepper), a typical mapuche seasoning. Mixed with olive oil and other hot seasonings, we have developed three very high quality products, packed in an attractive modern design boxes, and most important, including the Fair Trade concept. Our products have been commercialized with big success in gourmet stores.
Despite merquén having been used for centuries by the mapuche etnia, just recently it has been introduced in the nouvelle cuisine by Chilean and international chefs, who have included this fabulous seasoning into their new creations. It accentuates the flavor of meats, sauces and even cheese.
During these four years, since the creation of Etnia, the company has developed big social value considering Etnia's merquén´s origin, produced directly by low income mapuche families. Etnia´s partners support development and growth of small businesses that our suppliers have been able to create because of the increase of merquén's consumption and a fair price policy, that is to say a premium above the rest of the market.
Etnia requires from the mapuche families suppliers excellence and consistence in the quality of the product, as well as maximum cleanliness in the production of merquén. This high demand is also made extensive to our other suppliers such as Olave, our olive oil supplier. Olave has obtained international recognition for their high quality standards.
Etnia recognizes the importance of its product`s design and image presentation. Luis Piano, repeatdly recognized in the North American and Brithish market, and designer for the wine industry in Chile, has designed our labels and packaging.
Etnia brings together the value of its origin, flavor and excellent quality, to become a unique first level worldwide product.
Etnia, part of Just Commerce
Etnia buys merquén directly from its origin, that is, from two mapuche families that elaborate it at Purén, Chile. In this small town, Luis Huenupi and Lorenzo Manchileo created a merquén producing society, and with great effort have been able to develop a small business.
This growth has been possible due to the Fair Trade concept, with which Etnia is fully committed, paying a premium price for this product above the standard market value, but without altering our final price, and allowing us to compete in national and international markets.
Our just price policy has allowed the Huenupi and Manchileo society to have a well installed merquén producing plant, with a high investment value in machines, in order to be able to attend the increasing demand for this product. Etnia pays Huenupi and Manchileo upon delivery, that is on a cash basis.
Etnia's compromise is to use only high quality raw materials, and that our "merquén" final blend consistently maintains its original flavor. In order to maintain high sanitary conditions we request that Nutrition and Food Technology Institute (INTA – Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de Alimentos) monitors our quality and hygiene standards.
In our production chain, the packing is done both by one of our partner's mother and grandmother, who also receive Etnia´s Fair Trade benefit, and comply with all the requested sanitary regulations.
Etnia also is committed with non-discriminatory policies and similar requirements are mandatory for its suppliers, as well as abiding by the policies against child labor.