Martin Casanova starts his mornings with coffee and gratitude. The Chief Dream Maker of Thx!, a for-good produce company that takes farm-to-table produce to the next level, receives a lot of gratitude from his label’s beneficiaries. Thx! works with farm workers from the US, Canada, Chile, Peru, and Argentina to distribute their products directly to consumers, while helping them achieve personal and financial goals along the way.
Since their founding just a couple of years ago, Thx! has worked with over 45 farm workers and their families to not only get their product out to the market, but to also help them achieve their dreams as well.
“We consider ourselves ‘dream makers’ rather than marketers or distributors,” begins Co-Founder, Martin Casanova. “Our farm workers are some of the hardest working people on the planet; their work in the fruit harvest is mostly seasonal work, leaving a gap of work that affects them year round. The people who grow our food deserve to have their dreams granted, as they help us achieve ours.”
A roof and a sheet of paper
Thx! doesn’t limit itself on how dreams are quantified, either. It can be as huge as helping someone finish their education, to something as “trivial” to most of us as patching a hole in the roof.
Take Elizabeth Castillo Calle, a 29-year-old child care worker for a farming company. A single mother who had to abandon her studies when she gave birth, she wanted to pursue an educator’s certificate to start providing a better life for her daughter. Thx! started working with her farming company to provide the means necessary for Elizabeth to achieve her certificate. She now works as a certified early-age educator, balancing taking care of her daughter as well as nurturing the minds of the next generation.
Gustavo Brito, a 42-year-old farm worker, has had a tough harvest season. Argentina experienced its worst hail storms yet that led to the destruction of his family’s roof. With nothing more than repurposed sheet metal and lumber, Gustavo managed to patch up their roof – but it wasn’t enough. “He said his dream was to finish their roof and add insulation,” Casanova tells. “But we took it one step further.”
One step further meant adding not only insulation, but building walls and bathrooms, as well as heating to help combat the Argentinian cold. Gustavo and his family achieved their dreams through Thx!’s help, and now enjoy a better life – and a better roof.
Streamlining social good
“We believe in doing well by doing good,” Casanova continues. “Consumers want to do good. We act as a middleman between those types of consumers and our farm workers, helping them reach each other better and allowing those who want to help do so in a streamlined and simple manner.”
Social good has become a hot topic for years now, but the definition of it can be muddled. “Everyone wants to make a difference, but not everyone knows how to take that first step. We make it easier for them by directing their contributions towards our farm workers, who then provide our customers with their top-quality produce,” Casanova states. “We’re connecting people and helping them make the impact they want to leave on the world.”
A brighter future filled with fulfilled dreams
This October, during Fair Trade Awareness Month, Thx! will be launching grapes from Chile and Peru. This will be coupled with brand new packaging, which will include a QR code that customers can scan to find out the provenance of their produce. “We’re changing how people interact with our label, helping customers realize the impact they’re making and the social good they’re doing,” Casanova explains. “We’re bringing our words and actions to life in quite a literal way now, and it’s something that we’re very proud of.”
The future of Thx! is as bright as the dreams they help create. As the world moves towards more mindful consumerism and support for low-income farm workers rising, Thx! hopes to build a world where farm workers – the people who help make our dreams come true through their hard work – achieve their own hopes and dreams, kickstarting a wheel of compassion and social group rolling towards a more inclusive future, one patched roof at a time.