In the highlands of the Peruvian Andes, sustainable harvesting of sphagnum moss is providing a source of long-term income and empowering women and communities. Harvested mainly for horticulture, it is perfect for plants like orchids, says Inka Moss, a registered B Corp. Of the 15,000 producers Inka Moss has worked with, almost two-thirds are women, and thanks to a partnership with social lender Shared Interest, they are paid at harvest. Previously, the moss would have been burnt to make way for potato crops. Inka Moss has protected some 5,000 hectares of forest from burning, and contributed over 1,100 tons of moss to the global export market. “What we are trying to do here is to show people that it is actually possible to build a business model that benefits everybody who is involved,” says Inka Moss. “As a business, it is successful, but that success is also replicated inside the communities.”

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