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