It was still half an hour before the event started, but many representatives of our partners were already in the conference room. I recognized the people of CLAEH and Cooperativa Artigas, and met many others. The room was crowded because there were more attendees than expected. Nobody minded standing up during the whole ceremony. This demonstrated their recognition and appreciation to the regional office located in Montevideo, which this year celebrated 25 years of operation in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Central Lanera Uruguaya (CLU) received the Oikocredit Award 2008 for their excellent track record in achieving economic and social improvements for small sheep wool producers – without borders. CLU’s 2000 members belong to 40 cooperatives located in not only the most remote areas of Uruguay, but also in Rio Negro, a province in the centre of Argentinian Patagonia. I learned that CLU developed the Centex brand - high quality Merino wool – which is well-known in the Merino wool trade sector. This brand is exported to Europe, Japan and the USA. Next time I buy a sweater, I will search for one produced with Merino wool of the Centex brand. Let’s hope they have it at the local store!