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"As well as cocoa and coffee we also grow maize, beans, cassava, yams and rice, in order to feed the family. We keep chickens and my husband has sheep. We produce a bit of palm oil and attieke [a cassava based dish] that we sell at the market."

Traore Mariam, pictured top right, is 25 years old and has four children. Her husband is a cocoa farmer of the ECOJOD cooperative in Dalao, Côte d’Ivoire. Traore is typical of many Fairtrade farmers who not only grow crops for cash, but much of their food as well.

Today is World Food Day and we want to bring the issue of food security to light with a focus on family farming – “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.

The problem of hunger is rife across the globe, and is closely connected with poverty. On October 16, World Food Day aims to bring this issue to light with a focus this year on family farming – “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.

Ensuring food security and sovereignty are important issues for many Fairtrade farmers. If small holder farmers are to run effective businesses, they must be able to support themselves and their families. Around three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Fairtrade is helping small producer organizations to strengthen their position, take more control over the value chain and become viable businesses. Of our 1,139 producer organizations worldwide, over 86% are small producer organizations.

A study undertaken in Colombia with banana farmers on Fairtrade certified small producer organizations found that 23 percent of farmers had food security constraints. The Fairtrade Premium was essential for improvements in a number of areas including overall income, income stability, and cash flow, all of which contribute to increasing food security.

Learn more about World Food Day on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization website.

Fati Bramah works at Volta River Estates, a banana plantation in Ghana. Fairtrade certification helped her learn about trade, and enabled her children to attend school.
Today is the United Nations International Day of Rural Women, recognizing the important role women play in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security, and eradicating rural poverty.

"Collectively, rural women are a force that can drive global progress." - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Fati Bramah works at Volta River Estates, a banana plantation in Ghana. Fairtrade certification helped her learn about trade, and enabled her children to attend school.

Today is the United Nations International Day of Rural Women, recognizing the important role women play in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security, and eradicating rural poverty.

"Collectively, rural women are a force that can drive global progress."
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

I want my teacher to know farmers can make money and farmers’ children can also be respected.

-Anonymous

We recently celebrated International Day of the Girl sharing quotes from school-going girls in Fairtrade communities. In the past four years, Fairtrade has conducted over 600 interviews with school going girls (and boys) to inform our child protection efforts.

Read quotes on farming, school and what’s important to girls in farming communities.

Without the principle of the Fairtrade Minimum Price, we small producers would have lost our land and we would live in a country with only plantations.

Fatima Ismael, general manager of SOPPEXCCA, a Fairtrade certified cooperative in Nicaragua.

The Fairtrade Minimum Price protects producers from price drops in volatile markets. The Minimum Price is just one of the tools Fairtrade uses to help balance trade relationships and support farmers.

If they improve their growing, they can improve their income. I feel very proud when I see a farmer who has taken on my advice and is now doing well.

Sunny Babu is a plant doctor for Fairtrade farmers in India. Find out about his challenges and the big difference Fairtrade farmer members in MASS are making in their communities.

Read his full story here.

But the strength of the Fairtrade model is that co-ops really understand because they’re part of it. They’re not detached in any way from the reality on the ground. They understand what the needs are and they can prioritize how that money is used effectively.

Photographer Sean Hawkey on the real impact of Fairtrade in farming communities. See images and the full interview here.

Large-scale partnerships are all the rage, but could they be exacerbating poverty? A new  study published by the Fairtrade Foundation UK warns that some agricultural public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Africa appear to prioritize commercial interests while ignoring the needs of the smallholder farmers they claim to help – and they could even make things worse!
Read the story and download the report here.

Large-scale partnerships are all the rage, but could they be exacerbating poverty? A new  study published by the Fairtrade Foundation UK warns that some agricultural public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Africa appear to prioritize commercial interests while ignoring the needs of the smallholder farmers they claim to help – and they could even make things worse!

Read the story and download the report here.

Real banana farmers checking out real bananas on display in Germany.

Juan Aquino Vilchez (at right in both pictures) and Jimmy Yarly Nunjar Quevedo (middle) of ACPROBOQUEA, a Fairtrade cooperative in Peru, visited Bonn, Germany, to take part in Fairtrade Germany’s Fairtour.

Are there Fairtrade bananas on your supermarket shelf? Request better bananas from your favorite supermarket.

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