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Fairtrade on the road


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The international Fairtrade system is up and running in the USA. Following the departure of Fair Trade USA from the global association, Fairtrade International, our members and partners, and a diverse group of stakeholders has been working to build a new organization. Check out the website throughout Fair Trade Month to keep up to date.

Rosa Maribel Galecio Medina is an employee at APPBOSA, a small producer organization in the Piura Region in Peru. The 28-year-old Rosa Maribel is part of a 200 person work-force at APPBOSA station. 
Here, bananas from surrounding plantations, grown and picked by more than 300 farmers, are sent for cleaning and careful packing in boxes weighing exactly 18,14 kilos before being exported to Europe and USA.
Rosa Maribel has been working at APPBOSA for two years. The stations were built in 2007 with support from the company buying their bananas and technical assistance from Fairtrade International (FLO). 
The bananas are transported from the plantations by a unique 7 kilometre cableway. As a result of the cableway, carrying of the 50 kilo heavy banana bunches is shortened by nearly 450 meters, which also increases the amount of non-blemished bananas suitable for export. These are just a couple of the improvements people at APPBOSA have experienced thanks to the Fairtrade Premium.  
For more producer stories, check out ‘Meet the Producers’ on the Fairtrade International website.

Rosa Maribel Galecio Medina is an employee at APPBOSA, a small producer organization in the Piura Region in Peru. The 28-year-old Rosa Maribel is part of a 200 person work-force at APPBOSA station.

Here, bananas from surrounding plantations, grown and picked by more than 300 farmers, are sent for cleaning and careful packing in boxes weighing exactly 18,14 kilos before being exported to Europe and USA.

Rosa Maribel has been working at APPBOSA for two years. The stations were built in 2007 with support from the company buying their bananas and technical assistance from Fairtrade International (FLO).

The bananas are transported from the plantations by a unique 7 kilometre cableway. As a result of the cableway, carrying of the 50 kilo heavy banana bunches is shortened by nearly 450 meters, which also increases the amount of non-blemished bananas suitable for export. These are just a couple of the improvements people at APPBOSA have experienced thanks to the Fairtrade Premium. 

For more producer stories, check out ‘Meet the Producers’ on the Fairtrade International website.

Small Co-op. Big and Passionate Plans.

With just seven members, Hop Tac Xa Nong Nghiep Chanh Day in Vietnam is probably one of the smallest Fairtrade cooperatives in the world! But just two months after becoming Fairtrade certified they have already sold all 20 tons of their export-quality passionfruit, and received around USD 2,000 in Fairtrade Premium. Xavier and Hung from the Asia producer services team went to visit them.

We start the day with a typical Vietnamese breakfast– a strong Robusta coffee and a bowl of Pho (noodle soup), in a street restaurant. Then we set off on the long drive to the cooperative. The farmers are based in Kien Duc, Dak Nong province, a remote mountainous area of Southern Vietnam bordering Cambodia, and one of the most disadvantaged regions in the country.

There are some large Fairtrade coffee cooperatives further North, but Hop Tac Xa Nong Nghiep Chanh Day is the first Fairtrade cooperative in Vietnam to sell passion fruits. They joined Fairtrade in June with the support of their exporter, V.U.A Biotech.

Now they are already planning how to use the first installment of Fairtrade Premium. Mrs Nguyen Thi Phuong Dong, treasurer of the cooperative and one of two female members, told us that a computer for their office and covering their operational costs are their top priorities. Later, they would like to buy land for other poor farmers and to invest in quality improvement training. They are also considering repairing the village road as some children in the community can’t attend school regularly during the rainy season, when the dirt roads get slippery.

 “The Fairtrade system protects us from losing money and against market instability” says Mrs. Nguyen. Prices for passion fruit vary a lot throughout the year, so this is a big plus. Farmers also now use protective equipment when using pesticides, in line with the Fairtrade Standards, and already feel the benefit to their health.

The cooperative is now looking for additional buyers for their second grade passion fruits. These could easily be sold and processed to make jams or fruit juice, for example. This would bring them additional income and certainly attract new members. Perhaps they won’t stay the smallest cooperative for long!

Tran Ban Hung is the Fairtrade Liaison Officer for Vietnam; Xavier Huchet is the Head of Producer Support & Relations for Asia at Fairtrade International.

Interested in purchasing Fairtrade passion fruit from Vietnam? Contact Xavier: x.huchet@fairtrade.net

When the cooperative was created, 70 percent of members were tenants and sharecroppers. Today, after 10 years, everyone owns their own plots. This has happened to people who had nothing.

Wilson Pedrosa Lima is a Fairtrade coffee farmer at UNIPASV cooperative in Brazil, and features on the front cover of Fairtrade International’s new Annual Report.

(Source: fairtrade)


We have knowledge now and this is essential. We have new contacts, new business partners, we have seen the outside world.

Wilson Pedroso Lima is a Fairtrade coffee farmer at UNIPASV cooperative in Brazil, and features on the front cover of our new Annual Report. Here he tells his story.
I’ve been working in the coffee fields for the past 12 years. I used to be a tenant, but three years ago I bought my plot. I was born and raised in the countryside. I have a son aged 17 and a daughter who is 11. The boy works with me. He likes to work in the field.I am a founding member of UNIPASV cooperative. When the cooperative was created, 70 percent of members were tenants and sharecroppers. Today, after 10 years, everyone owns their own plots. This has happened to people who had nothing.I started producing Fairtrade coffee a year ago. We produced 40 bags as Fairtrade and almost all of them were sold. The cooperative uses the Fairtrade Premium money for social benefits as well as for the cooperative. We renovated and expanded the office, bought a farm vehicle, built a garage, and have offered more comfort to the members.What has changed in my life and the lives of people here? I think that we have knowledge and this is essential. We have new contacts, new business partners, we have seen the outside world. I never imagined that me, a farmer from the South of Minas, would be able to travel to another country. We have learnt things about coffee too. Sometimes you might think you already know everything about coffee, but a consumer can teach us, give us ideas to improve the taste, the flavour. We thought coffee was the same everywhere, but it’s not. I also discovered coffee from other countries too.I would like to say to consumers out there that we Brazilian farmers are producing a good quality product. We produce our coffee now with the awareness that we need to care for people’s health. Today I use 70 percent less pesticides than before, and production has increased. With this knowledge we can produce more and spend less.I hope in future I can continue living and working here, living off the coffee fields, because it is not easy. I hope my children can study, which I could not do. I hope everything works out, we’re trying. Surely I see my son working here. I’m doing this for him; we are opening the opportunities for him to work here in the future.
This photo was taken in June 2012.  © Didier Gentilhomme. 
Download the Fairtrade International 2011-12 Annual Report here.

We have knowledge now and this is essential. We have new contacts, new business partners, we have seen the outside world.

Wilson Pedroso Lima is a Fairtrade coffee farmer at UNIPASV cooperative in Brazil, and features on the front cover of our new Annual Report. Here he tells his story.

I’ve been working in the coffee fields for the past 12 years. I used to be a tenant, but three years ago I bought my plot. I was born and raised in the countryside. I have a son aged 17 and a daughter who is 11. The boy works with me. He likes to work in the field.

I am a founding member of UNIPASV cooperative. When the cooperative was created, 70 percent of members were tenants and sharecroppers. Today, after 10 years, everyone owns their own plots. This has happened to people who had nothing.

I started producing Fairtrade coffee a year ago. We produced 40 bags as Fairtrade and almost all of them were sold. The cooperative uses the Fairtrade Premium money for social benefits as well as for the cooperative. We renovated and expanded the office, bought a farm vehicle, built a garage, and have offered more comfort to the members.

What has changed in my life and the lives of people here? I think that we have knowledge and this is essential. We have new contacts, new business partners, we have seen the outside world. I never imagined that me, a farmer from the South of Minas, would be able to travel to another country. We have learnt things about coffee too. Sometimes you might think you already know everything about coffee, but a consumer can teach us, give us ideas to improve the taste, the flavour. We thought coffee was the same everywhere, but it’s not. I also discovered coffee from other countries too.

I would like to say to consumers out there that we Brazilian farmers are producing a good quality product. We produce our coffee now with the awareness that we need to care for people’s health. Today I use 70 percent less pesticides than before, and production has increased. With this knowledge we can produce more and spend less.

I hope in future I can continue living and working here, living off the coffee fields, because it is not easy. I hope my children can study, which I could not do. I hope everything works out, we’re trying. Surely I see my son working here. I’m doing this for him; we are opening the opportunities for him to work here in the future.

This photo was taken in June 2012. © Didier Gentilhomme.

Download the Fairtrade International 2011-12 Annual Report here.


Pythons, bush pigs, leopards… this isn’t a trip to the local zoo but normal life on this Fairtrade farm in South Africa! Alan Whyte, the manager and owner of Springfield, reports on the farm’s environmentally safe practices, their training programmes for workers, and one particularly unusual training session.
We at Springfield are very proud of the way we conserve our soils, our natural trees and vegetation, our wildlife, our birds and our clean waterways. African rock pythons are seen regularly, and bushbuck, duiker (both red and grey), porcupines, bush pig, and many other mammal species are common. Some of these farm residents are declared endangered species. Recently one of our workers even saw a leopard on the farm.
We have an environmental policy on the farm that encourages biodiversity, controlling pollution by managing chemicals, fuel, oil and fertilizers very carefully, prohibiting tree felling, prohibiting the trapping and snaring of wildlife, controlling wild fires, preventing soil erosion, implementing environmentally friendly agricultural practices,  preserving areas of natural bush and trees and, where feasible, creating new areas. Regular training of our workers is one of the most important ways we achieve this biodiversity. We try to show them that conserving nature ensures a balanced environment that makes farming and farming jobs sustainable.
Recently while walking on our farm I came across a bushbuck that had died after being caught in a snare. I loaded the bushbuck on my farm vehicle and assembled my workers so that they could see the wasteful and cruel result of setting wire snares. As they gathered around the vehicle they could see that the meat was inedible as the animal had decomposed. I believe this on the spot lesson meant a lot more than a training session sitting in our training centre!
Springfield Farms is a Fairtrade certified producer located at the foot of a small range of mountains called the Soutpansberg in South Africa. The farm produces Fairtrade avocados and lychees, as well as non-Fairtrade macadamia nuts and pecan nuts (as there are currently no Fairtrade Standards for these nuts). Read more about Springfield Farms on our website.

Pythons, bush pigs, leopards… this isn’t a trip to the local zoo but normal life on this Fairtrade farm in South Africa! Alan Whyte, the manager and owner of Springfield, reports on the farm’s environmentally safe practices, their training programmes for workers, and one particularly unusual training session.

We at Springfield are very proud of the way we conserve our soils, our natural trees and vegetation, our wildlife, our birds and our clean waterways. African rock pythons are seen regularly, and bushbuck, duiker (both red and grey), porcupines, bush pig, and many other mammal species are common. Some of these farm residents are declared endangered species. Recently one of our workers even saw a leopard on the farm.

We have an environmental policy on the farm that encourages biodiversity, controlling pollution by managing chemicals, fuel, oil and fertilizers very carefully, prohibiting tree felling, prohibiting the trapping and snaring of wildlife, controlling wild fires, preventing soil erosion, implementing environmentally friendly agricultural practices,  preserving areas of natural bush and trees and, where feasible, creating new areas. Regular training of our workers is one of the most important ways we achieve this biodiversity. We try to show them that conserving nature ensures a balanced environment that makes farming and farming jobs sustainable.

Recently while walking on our farm I came across a bushbuck that had died after being caught in a snare. I loaded the bushbuck on my farm vehicle and assembled my workers so that they could see the wasteful and cruel result of setting wire snares. As they gathered around the vehicle they could see that the meat was inedible as the animal had decomposed. I believe this on the spot lesson meant a lot more than a training session sitting in our training centre!

Springfield Farms is a Fairtrade certified producer located at the foot of a small range of mountains called the Soutpansberg in South Africa. The farm produces Fairtrade avocados and lychees, as well as non-Fairtrade macadamia nuts and pecan nuts (as there are currently no Fairtrade Standards for these nuts). Read more about Springfield Farms on our website.

Hardeep Singh, President of Shahdevpur Village Club/Sunstar Rice in North India, pictured with his wife Anrandeep and relative, Shanti.


After joining the Fairtrade programme we had a better quality of inputs, such as seed and fertilizers. And the Fairtrade Premium enabled us to build this beautiful road which means we can access the farms much more easily. We got a better market price, plus an organic bonus of 400 rupees per 100 kg. The rice is also collected straight from our house; we don’t have to go to the market to sell it any more.

Before joining Fairtrade the quality of the groups rice wasn’t high. One reason for this was that they used rice from the previous harvest to plant as seed for the next year, which resulted in low quality yields. Now Sunstar provides them with the inputs each year on an interest free loan.

The Shahdevpur Village Club used part of its Fairtrade Premium to build an access road to the rice fields and to set up an organic composting unit. Sunstar has its own organic seed production to produce better quality seeds. In the future Hardeep his village would like to use the Fairtrade Premium to build a computer centre for the children.

© Didier Gentilhomme

Passion for Fairtrade

Sugar is one of the main Fairtrade products from Paraguay, but Jose Manuel Gomez, one of our Liaison Officers in the region, is helping producers of more exotic products join Fairtrade… .

In July I met with eight passion fruit producer groups and Frutika (a juice processor and exporter) in Carlos Antonio Lopez in Itapua, Paraguay, and explained the process for getting Fairtrade certified. All of them are keen to find new market opportunities for their passion fruit.

Rafael Romero, from the Consejo Local de Produccion Agropecuaria, a small producer organization in Tavai, said they cannot reach their production potential because of the uncertainties of market prices. He hopes Fairtrade market opportunities and the support of a minimum price could help them change that. Norma Riveros, from Citricoop Ltd, appreciated the training opportunity and said similar meetings would ensure they produce what the market demands and receive fair prices for their products.

Afterward I also visited passion fruit farmers in Carayao. The woman pictured is Constancia Estigarribia, member of APRAC Asociación de Productores Agrícolas de Carayaó. She has a quarter hectare of passion fruit growing among bananas and jack beans. She sold 2,800 kg of fruit to the processing plant through the organization.

“It is a good and reliable source of income that can bring some money in into my family budget,” Constancia told me.

Producers are already applying for Fairtrade certification and they hope to start selling their Frutika Passion Fruit concentrate to the market this year. If you are interested in more information, please visit www.frutika.com.py, or contact Catalina Jaramillo, Fairtrade International Regional Coordinator for South America: c.jaramillo@fairtrade.net

Business is buzzing for Fairtrade honey producers at Apicola co-op in Uruguay.

Before the beekeepers formed the co-op, poor rural roads and limited information meant that they had to depend on local middlemen to buy their honey.

Now the Apicola producers determine their own future.  Working together, the 30 members are able to cut out the middlemen and receive higher returns for their products, which they export abroad.


"Fairtrade brought trading security to our business, gave us access to pre-harvest financing of contracts, and improved the quality of our products", says Timoteo Teixeira, Secretary of Pueblo Apicola (pictured on bottom right photo, far left).


Apicola is one of a dozen Fairtrade honey producers worldwide, and the only Fairtrade certified cooperative in the country.  Read more about Apicola co-op on our website.

The strong Fairtrade sales mean big wins for the farmers and workers trying to make a decent living. Thanks to support from consumers around the world we were able to invest in many business and community projects. And Fairtrade doesn’t only help improve the living standards of producers; the impact also extends to the wider community. Fairtrade consumers are supporting sustainable development across our beautiful continent.

Joseph Ayebazibwe from Mabale Growers Tea Factory in Uganda, on the growth in Fairtrade sales in 2011. Sales of Fairtrade certified products reached almost 5 billion euros last year, according to figures released today. Read more on our website.

I interviewed Delmi Regalado of COCAFELOL, a cooperative in Honduras, at the SCAE Coffee Event in Vienna, Austria. We also talked at last year’s SCAE in Maastricht when her cooperative was awaiting the final decision on their certification. COCAFELOL has had a fair amount of success already and Delmi was at the SCAE to continue building up important contacts in the coffee industry

“Hola, my name is Delmi Regalado. I work with the cooperative COCAFELOL in Ocotepeque, Honduras. We work with 500 coffee producers of which 200 are also certified Fairtrade organic. This was our first year with Fairtrade certification and the truth is it has been a good experience for the producers and we are beginning with this and we sell about 20% of our coffee with the seal.

“So far the only project we have done is helping the community build a coffee cupping school for children to learn about cupping coffee. We have also helped with athletics building playing fields for sports. This is more or less what we’ve been working on.”

What was the inspiration for the cupping school?

“The inspiration was because we have seen in other countries how the coffee industry is aging. And the children in other countries, we have seen how the parents have sent them to study careers that have nothing to do with coffee. Once they grow up, they don’t have an interest in working in coffee. We hope that our children understand and [want to] do what we’re doing in cafe.”

Kyle Freund is the Interim Liaison Manager in the office of Communications at Fairtrade International. In June he attended the SCAE coffee event in Vienna, Austria, Europe’s largest specialty coffee conference mixing hundreds of producers, traders, roasters and retailers as they come together to discuss everything coffee.

Team GB athlete Goldie Sayers supports our Team Fair campaign

Great news here from the Fairtrade Foundation. If you Tumblrs are following along, you should probably follow this blog too.

fairtradeblog:

Team GB athlete Goldie Sayers with Vernon Henn, General Manager at Thandi Fairtrade wines, South Africa

Whilst training in South Africa, Team GB athlete and the UK’s leading Javelin throw Goldie Sayers spent her one day off at Thandi, which became the first Fairtrade certified wine in 2004. Goldie is supporting Fairtrade food being part of the catering operation at the London 2012 Games.

Read More

Omar Valdés is a member of COASABA honey cooperative. We got to see part of his beautiful work, with his beehives and those of his father. Omar Valdés doesn’t own land, so he rents a small piece of property in the outskirts of the city of Santa Bárbara, in the town of Los Mayo. This allows him to leave his bees with access to plenty of food and fresh water, but at the same time it is close to his home. When asked how he thinks his life would be without the cooperative Mr. Omar says: 

My life wouldn’t be the same, neither for my family nor for the region’s beekeeping.

Fairtrade International’s Liaison Officer Ingrid Allende joined COASBA honey cooperative in Chile for their general assembly. The election process was a chance for producers to talk about their organization and their reasons for becoming a cooperative. Read more here…

Omar Valdés is a member of COASABA honey cooperative. We got to see part of his beautiful work, with his beehives and those of his father. Omar Valdés doesn’t own land, so he rents a small piece of property in the outskirts of the city of Santa Bárbara, in the town of Los Mayo. This allows him to leave his bees with access to plenty of food and fresh water, but at the same time it is close to his home. When asked how he thinks his life would be without the cooperative Mr. Omar says: 

My life wouldn’t be the same, neither for my family nor for the region’s beekeeping.


Fairtrade International’s Liaison Officer Ingrid Allende joined COASBA honey cooperative in Chile for their general assembly. The election process was a chance for producers to talk about their organization and their reasons for becoming a cooperative. Read more here…

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