Fair trade makes producers receive a guaranteed minimum price, which goes towards good wages, safe labour conditions, quality improvement and social and environmental programmes.
In short: to help improve the working and living conditions of farmers, workers and their families.
El Guabo is a co-operative of 339 banana farmers in the south west of Ecuador, of whom 86 are also organic certified. The farmers own a total of 1000 hectares. In total more than 1,300 people earn their living at El Guabo. Before 1997, these farmers were selling bananas through intermediaries, and often receiving prices which were too low to cover basic costs. Fair wages and decent working conditions were unaffordable. In November of 1997, fourteen farmers organised themselves in order to be part of Fair Trade. Today, the original fourteen have grown into a substantial group of farmers who are now able to manage their own exports. They have also implemented quality-monitoring systems and improved living and working conditions.
Apromalpi (Association of Mango Producers of Alto Piura) was established in 1996 by a group of small mango producers from the Alto Piura valley in the north of Peru. About 120 families are members of the association. They farm 390 hectares and grow the Kent variety. The organisation is seen as an excellent example for small producers in Peru and Apromalpi has been awarded a special prize to this effect by the Peruvian government. The farmers have build a new packing station to build on Apromalpi’s success. Cooling houses are established, to maintain the good quality of the mangoes. The mangoes are harvested from December to February.
Asoproagroín is an association of small-scale pineapple producers in the north of Costa Rica. The farmers were supported by a local foundation, Proagroin, in order to transform themselves into producers able to compete on the international market. The association started in 2002 with 47 farmers and there are now 160. Proagroin, has set up a project for the farmers. The project gives loans to the farmers when necessary, provides technical assistance and exports the fruit. AFAD helped the producers to gain EurepGap and organic certification. The farmers have a new packing house with cool rooms and a professional packing line and a much bigger focus on growing in an environmentally friendly way.
Cealnor is a movement of about 700 small-scale farmers, organised in 20 associations. Joining forces among the associated families, and with the help of partnerships, they organise market access, offer technical assistance in the conversion to organic production, realise training activities, and participate in the definition and control of public policies. Fair Trade markets are Austria, Germany (“Merída” & “Batida del Mundo” by Gepa), Switzerland (“Solás” by Claro), Oxfam Wereldwinkels Belgium, Libero Mondo, Italy.
Profile of Cealnor and their associates
Cealnor has its office in Rio Real, a small town (35000 inhab.) where the associated farmer families have small properties (06 hectares on average). Generally they cultivate oranges, green coconut and passion fruit for the market, intercropped with subsistence crops as maize, beans, cassava, pumpkin and groundnuts. A small group adopted 100% organic production, with green manure and organic fertilisers. The associates that still use pesticides and chemical fertilisers, apply far less than common in the main orange growing regions.
After that Cealnor promoted the access of agricultural credit and the joint purchase of fertilisers, in 1997/98 the company managed to settle 200 families of young associates in settlements in the neighbouring municipalities Esplanada and Conde. With a long-term loan, each family obtained 20 hectares of land. Initially they planted one hectare of passion fruit, some subsistence crops, and recently many also planted 2-3 hectares of orange and coconut.
The fresh fruit originating from the 700 associated families is processed by two processing plants.These processing plants are both based in the state Sergipe and both plants are member of the Schutzgemeinschaft der Fruchtsaft-Industrie/ International Raw Material Assurance (SGF/ IRMA).