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Showing posts tagged “iyc2012”

July 8-12 is the fourth Global Congress on Quinoa in Ecuador. Fairtrade has six certified small-scale producer organizations in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Read their full story at the Fairtrade International website.

In these photos: Lorenzo Cepada of Fairtrade co-op COPROBICH in Ecuador hosts a meeting with Fairtrade producers. The other photo features workers from the ANAPQUI Cooperative processing quinoa in the co-op’s plant.

A farmer from the 6,000 strong Mubuku Moringa Vanilla Farmers’ Association in western Uganda stands by his home built with income from Fairtrade sales.  The Mubuku Moringa Vanilla farmers work closely with the Ndali Organic Factory – a processing plant in the district of Kassese – to build better futures for all of its members and their communities.
Read Mubuku Moringa’s full story here.

A farmer from the 6,000 strong Mubuku Moringa Vanilla Farmers’ Association in western Uganda stands by his home built with income from Fairtrade sales.  The Mubuku Moringa Vanilla farmers work closely with the Ndali Organic Factory – a processing plant in the district of Kassese – to build better futures for all of its members and their communities.

Read Mubuku Moringa’s full story here.

Seed to Cup: Coffee Training in India


imageDemonstrating leaf rot

Did you know that coffee is the second most important product after tea for Asian Fairtrade producers? Several Indian producers sold Fairtrade Robusta coffee for the first time in 2012. Now they are keen to offer quality coffee in 2013 too. At the Asia Pacific Coffee Forum for Fairtrade producers held last year in Indonesia, Indian producers identified training on coffee production and quality as one of the priority needs. This follow-up training session was one small but very significant move to help achieve that.

More than 40 farmers from three Fairtrade coffee co-ops met at a coffee research station in Wayanad District, Kerala to get trained by the Coffee Board Scientists on the theme “Seed to Cup.” 

Over the course of the day, various scientists gave farmers all kinds of information and tips. Mr Prakasan revealed that productivity in Kerala is below the national average and just half of the potential. Dr Suresh Kumar explained how simple interventions like timely pruning, grafting techniques and irrigation can vastly improve yields. Dr Vijayalakshmi talked of pests and diseases and informed the farmers of simple steps to ward them off. Mr George talked about post-harvesting techniques and highlighted how bad practices in drying and storage influence coffee quality. Outturn of coffee, some bad practices like excessive pruning, requirement of shade etc were also covered during the discussion.

Every farmer took something different out of the session. Annakutty liked the information provided on pests and diseases, while Sudha emphasized the relevance of grafting techniques to the farmers. George was particularly keen to organize a training for his farmers on post harvest techniques. Vineesh hoped that this training is only a beginning and talked of a more frequent training from the coffee board. All the farmers groups were keen to take up the offer to get their soil tested by the coffee board, and to receive their recommendations for nutrient application.

The organic farmers pointed out some shortcomings like lack of suitable information for mixed cropping systems and not enough stress on organic farming research. There is always room for improvement!


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As the aroma of South Indian filter coffee filled the air, a drizzle brought the curtain down on the program. Meanwhile, I mentally started scheduling more coffee trainings in 2013 to benefit more farmers….

Raju Ganapathy is a Fairtrade liaison officer in India, supporting farmers to join and benefit from Fairtrade.

Fairtrade producers interviewed at UN climate talks

Nasser Abufarha, of Canaan Fair Trade describes how climate change is worsening the situation for Palestine’s already vulnerable olive oil and almond farmers.

Fungus diseases and extremely hot summer temperatures meant the olive harvest this year dropped by 50%.

Can Fairtrade support these farmers in situations like this? Watch this video and find out!

This interview is one of a series carried out with Fairtrade producers at the UN climate change talks (COP18). More to come in the next few days!

We are doing all we can to deal with the impact of climate change on our very livelihoods. We have planted shade trees to create buffer zones to deal with extreme temperatures and drought. We are applying indigenous methods…We have been able to set up cook stoves that help us save wood, and solar lighting for our communities. But all these things cost money, and need technical expertise. And as the most vulnerable, our efforts to address climate change as well as our demands for support remain largely unheard.

On the eve of COP18, Fairtrade producers networks call for more support to adapt to the very real effects of climate change on their livelihoods.

Read the full statement here.

A delegation of Fairtrade producers and staff are heading to Doha for the climate change conference to make farmers’ voices heard in the debate. See an overview of our events, and join us there!

Sweet Success and Sugary too!!
Raju Ganapathy, a Fairtrade Liaison officer, reports on a sweet Fairtrade success story in India.

I came to Dharwar, a small city, overnight from Bangalore, the buzzling capital of Karnataka. For the first time I conducted a group training on Fairtrade for the representatives of seven sugar producer organizations.

Fairtrade sugar is pretty new to India. These seven producers got inspired to join Fairtrade through the Khadrolli Primary Agriculture Credit Cooperative Sangha, the first Indian sugar producer to gain Fairtrade certification, back in 2010. They were already organic certified, giving them a stepping stone to progress to Fairtrade.  In addition, their trader and exporter, Pure Life has provided them with good organizational assistance.

In 2011 Khadrolli cooperative received an amazing Fairtrade Premium of 110,000 Euros from the sale of 2318 MT of sugar. No wonder the farmers extolled the virtues of the program when I asked them about their views on Fairtrade.

Bhartesh Patil was clear that “Fairtrade certification, by providing premium, strongly supports our organic intervention.” Kandu added that “Fairtrade certification provides an opportunity to create a brand name for both the Pure Life and the sugar producers on the international market.”

The next day I was able to visit Khadrolli society to see first-hand how they have used their Premium. They showed me the tractor they have purchased, along with the chaff cutter machine, which will help them to turn harvest waste into organic compost.

The society has also supplied farmers with a kit of state of the art bio-fertilizers. One of the farmers, Irappa, enthusiastically listed the benefits : wider girth, taller crop and greener sugarcane. Two other farmers, Subhash and Hammanavar, reported that this organic manure completely substitutes any chemical fertilizers, savings cost, labor and time. As I was leaving I asked Mr Gambol their manager to track sugar content in the coming harvest to see if it also increased as a result. I wound up my trip happier that Fairtrade had brought some tangible positive results to this farming community.

Sugar Farmers put Jamaica on the Fairtrade Map

fairtradeblog:

By Eileen Maybin, Head of Media Relations, Fairtrade Foundation

There are not many good news stories in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large portions of the Caribbean and North-eastern United States at the end of last month. But one that is exciting for us here at the Foundation is that Worthy Park Cane Farmer Branch Association, a small-scale sugarcane farmers’ organisation, became the first ever Fairtrade certified group in Jamaica this week.

Read More

Take good care of the producers. Know your product. Improve its quality. Ask your father for advice. Protect the environment. Get closer to the customer. Talk to each other.These are the rules of thumb for Coopervitae, a group of Fairtrade coffee producers in Brazil. To find out what putting all those pieces together means in practice, read their full story.
Pictured: Coopervitae member Vagner Bombonato de Lima. The knowledge he’s got from the co-op (and his dad!) means he’s confident of the quality of his coffee.
Photo by Didier Gentilhomme

Take good care of the producers. Know your product. Improve its quality. Ask your father for advice. Protect the environment. Get closer to the customer. Talk to each other.

These are the rules of thumb for Coopervitae, a group of Fairtrade coffee producers in Brazil. To find out what putting all those pieces together means in practice, read their full story.

Pictured: Coopervitae member Vagner Bombonato de Lima. The knowledge he’s got from the co-op (and his dad!) means he’s confident of the quality of his coffee.

Photo by Didier Gentilhomme

It has been said repeatedly that we have the means to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. What
is needed is the establishment of an enabling environment that allows small producers to take
full advantage of available opportunities. Strong cooperatives and producer organizations are
an essential part of that.

Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva, as part of his message for World Food Day, being celebrated around the world today.

“Agricultural Cooperatives: Key to feeding the world” is this year’s theme. Small farmers can offer a solution to the world’s biggest food problems, and Fairtrade’s producers have a big role to play! Find out more here.


Success at Last for Indian Grape Growers

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ― Winston Churchill


Such is the case with Fairtrade grapes from India … a fruit of one Fairtrade importer’s persistent efforts. 

Fruit importer Univeg has been trying to launch Fairtrade grapes in the UK since 2007, but it has been quite a long journey. First they had to find suitable producers. Then they had to ensure the whole supply chain was Fairtrade certified. Not to mention quality issues, and the extremely short shelf-life grapes have. 

Over in India, one of the Fairtrade cooperatives I support was also having problems. Agrocel Pure and Fair Fruits and Nuts Growers Association (APFGA) was hardly selling any of their Fairtrade raisins, making it unviable for them to remain certified.  As a last resort, a few of the farmers decided to produce Fairtrade grapes. Could this be the supply Univeg was looking for?

There were still failures to overcome: APFGA’s first Fairtrade grape crop in 2011 was too poor quality to be exported. But they didn’t give up. Thanks to support from Univeg and another Fairtrade buyer, Euro Fruits, APFGA farmers tried again in 2012 … and have been successful. The first batch of grapes hit UK supermarket shelves a few months ago, and were praised for their top-quality.

APFGA has already started reaping the fruits of this success.  From their Fairtrade Premium they have purchased raisin packing materials collectively and managed to bargain 20% savings on this purchase for their members.  APFGA members are all smiles on their new prospects.



“It is like a new life to our cooperative. Now we can persuade our other farmers to also allocate part of their crop for Fairtrade table grapes and part for Fairtrade raisins, and continue to be a part of the Fairtrade system,” says an excited Prakash Sangave, APFGA member and Fairtrade table grapes grower.


Contibuted by Anup Singh, a Fairtrade liaison officer in India. If you’d like to source Fairtrade table grapes from India, contact him here.

There are over 50 Fairtrade liaison officers worldwide.  Learn more about their work on our website.

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