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Fairtrade on the road


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Imelda Rojo, the vice president of Danilo Gonzalez Cooperative in Nicaragua, depulps coffee. Her cooperative is part of the CECOCAFEN Cooperative, which is made up of 10 cooperatives and two cooperative unions with a total of 2,600 producers, more than 700 of whom are women. 
Many Fairtrade coffee farmers, including representatives of Imelda’s cooperative, will flock to Seattle soon for the world’s largest specialty coffee conference, the SCAA 26-28 April. Fairtrade International and our members, Fairtrade America, the CLAC Network, Fairtrade Canada, and Fairtrade Africa will attend as well.
Photo by Sean Hawkey

Imelda Rojo, the vice president of Danilo Gonzalez Cooperative in Nicaragua, depulps coffee. Her cooperative is part of the CECOCAFEN Cooperative, which is made up of 10 cooperatives and two cooperative unions with a total of 2,600 producers, more than 700 of whom are women.

Many Fairtrade coffee farmers, including representatives of Imelda’s cooperative, will flock to Seattle soon for the world’s largest specialty coffee conference, the SCAA 26-28 April. Fairtrade International and our members, Fairtrade America, the CLAC Network, Fairtrade Canada, and Fairtrade Africa will attend as well.

Photo by Sean Hawkey

Congratulations to the sugar farmers of Plaine des Calebasses co-op, who have won 3rd place in the Mauritius Excellence Awards for Cooperatives.Organized by the Mauritian Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, the award recognizes cooperatives who are governed fairly, run transparently and who are always striving to improve further. The core criteria include efficiency in leadership, good management of people and resources, and customer and service excellence. "I was on cloud nine!” says Mr Bolah Beharee, Secretary of the Cooperative on winning the award. “This is a proof that our cooperative has always worked hard to restore the dignity of sugarcane planters. I least expected it and it has been a great honour and achievement in the history of our cooperative."
Plain des Calebasses is one of 28 Fairtrade certified sugar cooperatives n Mauritius, with around 5000 sugar farmers benefiting from Fairtrade. New farming machinery, training on good environmental practices, school materials and a new community hall are just some of the projects farmers have carried out with the Fairtrade Premium.

Congratulations to the sugar farmers of Plaine des Calebasses co-op, who have won 3rd place in the Mauritius Excellence Awards for Cooperatives.

Organized by the Mauritian Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, the award recognizes cooperatives who are governed fairly, run transparently and who are always striving to improve further. The core criteria include efficiency in leadership, good management of people and resources, and customer and service excellence.

"I was on cloud nine!” says Mr Bolah Beharee, Secretary of the Cooperative on winning the award. “This is a proof that our cooperative has always worked hard to restore the dignity of sugarcane planters. I least expected it and it has been a great honour and achievement in the history of our cooperative."

Plain des Calebasses is one of 28 Fairtrade certified sugar cooperatives n Mauritius, with around 5000 sugar farmers benefiting from Fairtrade. New farming machinery, training on good environmental practices, school materials and a new community hall are just some of the projects farmers have carried out with the Fairtrade Premium.

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Fairtrade empowers women to play leading roles in their communities. Irene Kijara, 35, has three children, is a teacher by profession and also manages her own tea farm near Fort Portal in Uganda, employing 15 people.
She is also a treasurer for a committee that decides how to spend Fairtrade Premiums for community development and she is teaching and inspiring other women. Irene says “I am here as a representative of the women farmers who elected me. Other women have seen what I do. They are starting to look after their farms and realize they too can be strong and independent of men. Working for the committee has helped me to do this.”
She also adds “the rules are rigid and clear so no-one can deceive me – because I am a woman and I am clever!’
Via Fairtrade Foundation

fairtrademarkus:

Fairtrade empowers women to play leading roles in their communities. Irene Kijara, 35, has three children, is a teacher by profession and also manages her own tea farm near Fort Portal in Uganda, employing 15 people.

She is also a treasurer for a committee that decides how to spend Fairtrade Premiums for community development and she is teaching and inspiring other women. Irene says “I am here as a representative of the women farmers who elected me. Other women have seen what I do. They are starting to look after their farms and realize they too can be strong and independent of men. Working for the committee has helped me to do this.”

She also adds “the rules are rigid and clear so no-one can deceive me – because I am a woman and I am clever!’

Via Fairtrade Foundation

Building a School out of Bananas and Cooperation

Carla Veldhuyzen, Fairtrade’s Regional Manager for the Andean Region, attended the opening of a school paid for in part by Fairtrade Premium funds from a local foundation created by Fairtrade banana farmers.

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Ten year old Soffy Carolina Vidal has seen a lot of change in her short school career in the Colombian village of El Tigre. She began learning in a family’s backyard before their impromptu school was moved to an old pig shed. From there they were moved to the shade of a mango tree before workers at the Fairtrade farm, Miramar, discovered the conditions and did something about it.

On the first day of classes after school holidays this past January, FUNTRAJUSTO, a Fairtrade workers’ foundation made up of 15 certified farms, inaugurated its first joint project, uniting workers to build a primary school for the 35 students that had been receiving classes in a pig shed.

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The original pig shed where the students of El Tigre studied

Since 2011, Fairtrade Liaison Officer Alfredo Zabarain has been working with the Premium Committees that make up FUNTRAJUSTO to slowly change their mindset moving them from using the Premium for individual benefit to look around and see how they can help the surrounding communities.

FUNTRAJUSTO, was created in 2012. By putting together 5 percent of their annual Fairtrade Premium budget, they were able to negotiate with the local municipality and jointly address one of the heartfelt needs within the community: a school for the kids in El Tigre.

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Students study the school plans as construction begins

Soffy, who wrote about the journey in her diary,  cannot withhold her tears during the opening ceremony of the school, too late for her to enjoy, as she is moving on to secondary school this year, but happy for her companions who now have a proper school to study and play in.  

While the teacher is organizing his classroom, the kids try out the playground and Tim Aldred, a visitor from the Fairtrade Foundation, is inflating a huge banana, the Premium Committee presidents contemplate the result of many month of hard work, frustration and persuading each other to continue, and are genuinely proud of what they have accomplished.

They must be thinking “What’s next?”

Fortin Bley is a cocoa farmer, President of the Fairtrade Africa Cocoa Network, and Secretary General of CANN, his cooperative in the Ivory Coast. He visited Fairtrade during the launch of our new Fairtrade Sourcing Programs, a new effort to drive more Fairtrade sales for farmers in cocoa, cotton and sugar.  At launch, Fairtrade cocoa sales are already up 14%.
Read how the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programs will help Fairtrade farmers sell more cocoa, sugar and cotton on Fairtrade terms.

Fortin Bley is a cocoa farmer, President of the Fairtrade Africa Cocoa Network, and Secretary General of CANN, his cooperative in the Ivory Coast. He visited Fairtrade during the launch of our new Fairtrade Sourcing Programs, a new effort to drive more Fairtrade sales for farmers in cocoa, cotton and sugar.  At launch, Fairtrade cocoa sales are already up 14%.

Read how the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programs will help Fairtrade farmers sell more cocoa, sugar and cotton on Fairtrade terms.

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