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Showing posts tagged “Fairtrade”

Chetna Organic is going #insideout for Fashion Revolution Day. How about you?

Fashion Revolution Day on 24 April 2014 calls for change in the textile supply chain from our wardrobes all the way back to the cotton fields. It marks the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster which killed 1,133 people when the factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Fashion Revolution Day is making the challenge ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’  Fashion lovers can show their support for farmers and workers in the textile industry by wearing an item of clothing inside out to show off the label, photographing it and then sharing it on all social networks with the hashtag #insideout.

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

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

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.

A worker from a Sri Lankan tea plantation takes part in Fairtrade’s Hired Labour Consultation.

June 11, Hatton, Sri Lanka
By Elisabeth Bystrom, Project Manager at Fairtrade International

What is a stronger symbol of Sri Lanka than tea? I have long associated Sri Lanka with delicious Ceylon growing on endless rolling, mist-covered hills. A romantic picture I admit and one that I was fortunate enough to see in person last year.

The picture gets better. Not only did I get to visit the country, but I was there to meet the people and talk with workers on tea plantations about their needs, their perceptions of progress, and how we could improve the Fairtrade Standard to make it better suited to their daily reality.

This was my first test taking the standard review ‘live’ to meet with workers and hear their views in an open setting and one of our first times engaging workers on such a scale with new materials and methodology. My partners included Sumedha Karunatillake and Felix Wijesinghe, two experienced Fairtrade field staff, as well as the NAPP programme manager Mariam Thomas.

On first impression, Sri Lanka was, well, WET!

From the time I arrived until the day I left, the rain never seemed to stop. Roads were like rivers, power lines were down, and I wondered how we would manage without electricity. But there is little need for electricity when people gather to talk and share views. Tea estate workers from all over the teardrop-shaped island arrived unfazed. There was no need for overhead projectors and power point presentations, everyone was there to be active and contribute.

We had an agenda to guide us through the day, but the beautiful thing about a participatory workshop is that no matter how you plan, conversations take their own course. Talk mainly circled around who should receive Fairtrade Premium; whether it should it be distributed to all workers or remain dedicated for community-based projects.

There seemed to be no shortage of opinions, and no hesitation to voice them, whether from a man or a woman, a tea plucker, a factory worker or a field supervisor. I was pleased to watch heated debates in small groups where workers argued for and against cash distribution of the Fairtrade Premium.  Arguments were always well articulated, with examples of why or why not cash was a good idea. The overall feeling was that though community projects benefited the workers collectively, many felt the option to offer individual loans would also be a useful inclusion in the Standard.

The day sped by and before we knew it the sun had gone down. The rain made travel difficult, and several participants had to leave while the roads were still passable. This meant hurrying through the last part of the day. One of the most profound impressions that sticks with me was not so much about the workshop content, but the comments from participants who were happy to have the chance to meet with workers from neighboring plantations. They were grateful to have the opportunity to gather and share experiences and talk about their own lives, in particular what they have accomplished with the Fairtrade Premium and their plans for future projects.

While driving back down to Colombo through the curvy rolling hills covered in tea, the sun finally did come out. I was moved – not only by the beauty of the country – but by the openness of the people who did not hesitate to make me feel welcome and were more than willing to share their thoughts, hopes and dreams with me.

Elisabeth Bystrom is a Project Manager in Fairtrade International’s Standards Unit. She led the project of revising the Fairtrade Hired Labour Standard, a major undertaking involving consultations with over 400 workers and 18 workshops in 14 countries. The result is a new Standard that honours the day-to-day reality confronted by workers around the world. Read more about the final Hired Labour Standard here.

My hero has fallen to an eternal sleep. He was a father of a nation, a global icon. Madiba’s ideals and actions for a fair and just society which he was prepared to die for, has personally affected me and opened so many closed doors.

I can truly say Nelson Mandela has allowed me to travel the continents of the world, and now my quest is to continue his legacy through a Fairtrade business to touch the lives of as many other desperate people in search of that better life.

Vernon HennVernon Henn is the Managing Director of Thandi Wines, a Fairtrade winery in South Africa. Thandi is owned by 250 farm-worker families who hold 55% shares in the company.

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