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Showing posts tagged “Fairtrade”

Happy National Ice Cream Month!

Celebrate and cool down this month, with this delicious & Fairtrade ice cream recipe from Green & Black’s Chocolate. Don’t forget to use Fairtrade sugar as well! 

3 extra-large free-range egg yolks

½ cup superfine sugar

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 oz dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate, grated

3 ½ oz dark (85% cocoa solids) chocolate, grated

½ cup buttermilk

Put the egg yolks with half the sugar in a medium bowl andwhisk until light, fluffy, and pale in color. Heat the milk and cream togetherwith the remaining sugar to just under boiling point. Pour the cream mixtureinto the yolks and whisk until blended. Immediately return to the pan and cookover medium heat until it begins to thicken. Do not allow to boil.

Add the grated chocolate and stir until smooth. Add thebuttermilk and stir under well blended.

Strain into a chilled bowl and cool. Once cool, pour into anice-cream maker and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep inthe freezer until required. It is best served within 12 hours of churning, butwill keep well for at least 1 week in the freezer.

Paraguayan Pride: Farmers Open World’s First Fairtrade Organic Sugar Mill

Fairtrade sugar farmers from the remote Manduvira Cooperative in western Paraguay are celebrating an extraordinary achievement – the ribbon-cutting of the world’s first producer-owned Fairtrade organic sugar mill.

Originally posted by Fairtrade International on May 23, 2014.

Monika Berresheim of Fairtrade International presents a plaque to the managers of Manduvira.

Over 2,000 attended the opening of Manduvira’s new sugar mill.

Detail of Manduvira’s sugar mill

Teresa Alejandra Pereira, Executive Secretary of Manduvira and sugar farmer

23 May 2014

Manduvira’s new mill will be a boon for the 1,750 member-strong farmers’ organization, which will no longer have to pay to rental and transport costs to another mill, 100 km away along dirt roads. This $15 million project was funded through a combination of national and international loans, contributions from the Fairtrade Premium, and the Fairtrade Access Fund.

“This is what we want to see - producers who think big,” said Gustavo Leite, Paraguay’s Minister of Industry and Trade, as he congratulated the producers and cooperative leaders.

Paraguay’s Vice President, John Eudes Afara Maciel, joined Leite and other government ministers and sugar farmers at the launch of the venture on April 24th. The mill has the capacity to process 200,000 MT of organic sugar cane a year – producing 20,000MT of sugar. This figure could potentially treble in the years to come. A profit of $1 million is predicted for the first year.

“Our dream of a sugar mill owned by a cooperative and not by private ‘empresarios’ has come true,” said Andres Gonzales Manduvira’s, General Manager, who was visibly delighted at the achievement of his colleagues.

The Manduvira Cooperative exports certified organic and Fairtrade sugar to almost 20 countries, including most of Europe, Canada, Latin America, New Zealand and South Korea. Fairtrade staff have worked with the producer group helping it to achieve organic certification and long-term relationships with international clients.

“Huge congratulations to Manduvira for taking greater control of the value chain and ensuring benefits remain in its community,” said Monika Berresheim-Kleinke, Global Product Manager for Sugar at Fairtrade International, who attended the event alongside more than 2,000 others.

Martin Hill, Fairtrade’s Executive Commercial Officer, added: “We’re confident that Manduvira and its members will take on this exciting new responsibility and turn it into successful marketing and increased sales of Fairtrade sugar.”

The mill has nearly 200 employees, including farmers’ sons and daughters, who previously had left the area to find work or attend school in the capital, Asuncion, but who have now returned.

“The cooperative creates new jobs. This new mill will give new opportunities for members and non-members, really the entire community,” said Teresa Alejandra Pereira, who serves as Executive Secretary of Manduvira and also helps her father manage their 3 hectare farm.

The farmers believe the quality of their sugar will also benefit from the new mill with the freshly cut cane arriving sooner for processing than in the past. Bagasse, a by-product of processing sugar, will generate energy for the mill and the cooperative is asking for permission to deliver power to the wider community and beyond.

Gonzalez told the attendees that, before Fairtrade, Manduvira’s members struggled with an unjust system. Fairtrade enabled them to negotiate with the mill 100km away to process their sugar. They then realized that to increases sales and have control over their own product they needed to invest in their own mill, one closer to their farms.

“Every community needs and can seek a better quality of life,” Gonzalez added. “Ours is a dream that has come true thanks to Fairtrade. We thank consumers, volunteers, people who work in shops, national initiatives … all the people who are part of Fairtrade.

"I say to our fellow smallholders in Paraguay and around the world not to stop fighting for their dreams. Anything is possible when you believe and when you work.”

Read more about Manduvira Cooperative in our ‘Meet the Producers’ section.

Fairtrade Farm Goes Solar

Originally posted by Fairtrade New Zealand on May 6, 2013. To learn more about the Neknasi Coffee Cooperative of Papa New Guinea check out this overview of the Fairtrade Farm.

As the sun sets on another long day of hard work out in the coffee fields normally you would hear the sound of the generator kick in to power the lights so that members of the Neknasi Coffee Cooperative can continue working into the night discussing issues affecting the community.

But tonight it’s different, there is silence – but lights are on! Thanks to a great act of sustainable solidarity by the Conscious Consumer network NZ … Neknasi have gone solar!

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight last year the conscious consumer carrot mobraised over $2000 dollars – enough to buy a solar power system for Neknasi coffee farmers who now have a renewable energy source to power their evening discussions.

    

Views of the Neknasi Cooperative meeting house inside and out

The solar system provides enough energy to power the lights for 4 rooms in the meeting house and communal kitchen as well as powering the cooperative’s computer and printer.

It hasn’t been without its challenges though; lost instruction manuals required a bit of PNG ingenuity to complete the installation and Neknasi’s location in the “misty mountains” can mean less sunshine hours to charge the batteries during the wet season but summer is here, the sun is shining strong and the cooperative have noticed the difference.

 

Typical day during the wet season

"We used to use 5ltrs a day of petrol powering our meeting house, but with the solar panel our power costs have halved. This is a great benefit for us as it means we can carry on with our meetings later in the evenings and that we don’t need to do so many trips to town (over 3 hours away by dirt track) to get gas," says Dangi Ternum, Secretary of the Neknasi Cooperative.

Dangi Ternum, Neknasi Secretary in his sun powered office

The farmers of the Neknasi Cooperative would like to thank the cafes and consumers that took part the carrotmob for supporting Fairtrade and going the extra mile with their kind gift that keeps giving!

Tenkiu tru!

Pravin Sawmy
Fairtrade ANZ

Ben & Jerry’s Giveaway

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Eating Fairtrade ice cream – what a delicious way to show your support for small farmers! Ben & Jerry’s is committed to sourcing Fairtrade certified ingredients for all of its products. That’s using their power to help farmers build a better future for themselves. You can show your power to make change by choosing Fairtrade products – enter our World Fair Trade Day Facebook contest TODAY to win free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! And learn more about their commitment to Fairtrade here: http://www.benjerry.com/values/issues-we-care-about/fairtrade

Fairtrade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Grilling season is in full effect! Try out this Chipotle Barbecue Sauce from Sweet Bar Bakery featuring Wholesome Sweetener’s Fairtrade Organic Blue Agave.

Ingredients:

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 cup water
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2-4 tbsp chipotle in adobo
2/3 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Fairtrade Organic Blue Agave
1/4 cup cider or white vinegar
Zest and juice of one organic orange
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree till smooth. Remove to a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Make at least one day in advance for best results. Allow to cool and refrigerate. Keeps for several weeks, covered tightly and refrigerated.

Fairtrade International News: Working for the Common Good

Fairtrade launches a project to improve the impact of Fairtrade for workers on small farms, and better support the vulnerable farmers who employ them.

This post originated from Fairtrade International (May 14, 2014)

Fairtrade’s new Workers’ Rights Strategy has thus far focused on increasing the benefits of Fairtrade for workers on large commercial farms.

However, we also recognise that many small producer organizations and their members also employ waged workers and that the number of such workers is increasing as a result of the growth of Fairtrade and the development of small farmer organizations. While the Fairtrade Standards do provide protection for all workers through our strict minimum labour requirements in terms of child labour, forced labour, freedom of association, discrimination and pesticide handling, we have increasingly recognised that deeper benefits of Fairtrade do not automatically extend to this group. In recognition of this, in 2013 our first step in bringing improvements was to strengthen the certification criteria for workers’ rights on small producer organizations.

However we equally recognise that, in order to improve the situation of workers, Fairtrade must work harder to ensure that all farmers within Fairtrade co-operatives have a secure and sustainable income that meets their needs and those of their workers. The welfare of the one is inextricably tied to that of the other.

As Marike de Peña, Chair of Fairtrade International puts it. “We must at all costs avoid that farmers and workers start to be regarded as being in adversarial camps. Many farmers are also workers, the two live side by side in the same small communities, both struggling against poverty and injustice.”

This year we are embarking on a wider project to understand how we can improve the situation of workers within small farmer organizations. This will be a two-pronged process. We will seek to enable Fairtrade to be a stronger tool in the empowerment of workers. At the same time we will explore how we can strengthen the security of small farmers, many of whom are also highly vulnerable, and support them to become model employers. We are delighted that the Fairtrade Producer Networks are working in partnership with us to lead this work, and the project will also be supported with expert advice and input from Fairtrade’s Workers Rights Advisory Committee.

The first task to be carried out is to understand the diverse situations of workers on small farms and the equally diverse situations of those who employ them. Quantitative and qualitative research will give us an over-arching picture of who works on Fairtrade farms. We will examine where there are good employment practices on small farms and conversely where workers rights and welfare are being inadequately addressed. We will learn what has enabled Fairtrade farmers to become good employers and where the principle barriers lie to improving conditions for their workers.

The information we generate will help us co-design a strategy, with farmers and workers themselves, as to how Fairtrade can become a stronger change agent. Our findings may point to inadequacies in our current Standard and processes, with regard to enabling workers’ rights, which Fairtrade would then need to address. However experience tells us that Standards will only be one step in the process.

Our Producer Networks are already urging us to invest more in the capacity of co-operatives and farmers to become better employers. We must continue to fight for farmers to receive fairer prices for all of their production and not just the small proportion that is currently sold under Fairtrade conditions. We must work with Fairtrade co-operatives to ensure that the benefits of Fairtrade are shared among all their members.

And we must continue to listen to workers, supporting the development of programmes which meet their concerns, in particular empowering them to understand their rights and voice their concerns and to strengthen their capacity to negotiate wages and other conditions with their employers.

THE POWER OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT BANANA
Did you know that globally, we eat 100 million tons of bananas every year? Bananas are the fourth most important food staple in the world and the fifth most-traded agricultural commodity. Farmers who produce Fairtrade certified bananas are guaranteed a Fairtrade minimum price to cover the costs of sustainable production and a Fairtrade Premium to invest in projects in their communities. Choosing Fairtrade bananas helps farmers build better futures for themselves, and improves working conditions around the world — that’s the Power of You.
Here is an inspiring story of a family banana farm in the province of El Oro, Ecuador from our partners at Fairtrade Canada.
FROM FATHER TO SON ON THE ROAD OF FAIRTRADE AND ORGANIC…
In 1956, after completing his studies, the President of Sociedad Agrícola Prieto (SAPRIET), Aurelio Prieto Calderón, returned to his home province of El Oro, Ecuador (the Gold Province) to apply his newly acquired knowledge to the traditional farming practices used on his father’s farm. Slowly but surely, Señor Calderón began to use a small portion of the profits to improve the land to get, not only, greater productivity but also a higher quality of “green gold” bananas. Other companies and farmers in the region, in an effort to increase profitability, began introducing banana trees into El Oro from other countries and regions. Unfortunately, in some cases these new trees also brought with them diseases that soon spread to the domestic species, which made it necessary to apply of a number of pesticides and chemicals. Witnessing a deterioration in working conditions and how the application of these new chemicals was negatively affecting the health of his coworkers, Señor Calderón chose a different path for his company, that of Fairtrade Certified production. They achieved Fairtrade status in 2004, and became certified organic in 1999.

THE CO-OPERATIVE AND ITS PRODUCTION
From humble beginnings, SAPRIET now has approximately 250 employees working on 340 hectares. SAPRIET grows Fairtrade and organic certified Cavendish bananas. As production is from January to August, seasonal climactic factors can cause variations in the size of the harvest; however an average 430,000 pounds of bananas per weeks is collected and packaged for sale in international and domestic markets. A much smaller amount of organic cocoa is also grown and sold. To encourage crop diversification, papaya, plantains, peppers, rice, yucca (root), corn, and a variety of fruit is grown and sold at a discounted rate to the employees. Cattle, sheep and poultry are also raised to be sold at the employee’s market.

IMPACT OF FAIRTRADE
Although the Prieto Agricultural Group is a family owned company, all employees and workers benefit through a self administered employee and worker association. Together the company and the employee and worker association utilize the Fairtrade Premium to operate five basic aid programs: education, health, nutrition, housing as well as culture and sports. 
Education
All employees, workers and their children have the option of receiving a free education. Workers can also attend free workshops which teach them skills in electrical, mechanical, cosmetology and handicrafts while the children learn English, mathematics and useful computer skills.

Health
Employees and their children also benefit from an internal insurance system. This allows them to access a permanent on-site doctor, a fully stocked pharmacy, a dentist, a rehydration room, and also the assurance that a first-aid kit is always close by should an accident occur while employees are working away from the main farm. Proper nutrition is greatly encouraged through the operation of a mini market offering discounted food operated by the employee and worker association. In instances where employees lack the money to buy the necessary foods, they can take what they need by using a credit system. Through its Happy Family program, the company and the employee and worker association also helps employees to buy their own land or to improve or build their own home.

Financial support
Also after a minimum of seven years of employment, employees are entitled to a $4000 USD bonus to improve their living situation.
Culture and sports promotion
In addition to the benefits above, which help employees meet their basic needs, employees are also encouraged to participate in cultural programs such as play and regularly organized sporting tournaments. One of the most unique undertakings of the company is the employee and worker association’s internal Olympics. During this event, teams of both men and women begin by parading an Olympic flame around the property and then participate in such events as a parade of uniforms, a La Fuerza de la Unión (Strength of Union Marathon) and several other sporting competitions. Awards are given in categories: men, women and seniors as well as an award for the best team and its queen.

THE POWER OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT BANANA

Did you know that globally, we eat 100 million tons of bananas every year? Bananas are the fourth most important food staple in the world and the fifth most-traded agricultural commodity. Farmers who produce Fairtrade certified bananas are guaranteed a Fairtrade minimum price to cover the costs of sustainable production and a Fairtrade Premium to invest in projects in their communities. Choosing Fairtrade bananas helps farmers build better futures for themselves, and improves working conditions around the world — that’s the Power of You.

Here is an inspiring story of a family banana farm in the province of El Oro, Ecuador from our partners at Fairtrade Canada.

FROM FATHER TO SON ON THE ROAD OF FAIRTRADE AND ORGANIC…

In 1956, after completing his studies, the President of Sociedad Agrícola Prieto (SAPRIET), Aurelio Prieto Calderón, returned to his home province of El Oro, Ecuador (the Gold Province) to apply his newly acquired knowledge to the traditional farming practices used on his father’s farm. Slowly but surely, Señor Calderón began to use a small portion of the profits to improve the land to get, not only, greater productivity but also a higher quality of “green gold” bananas. Other companies and farmers in the region, in an effort to increase profitability, began introducing banana trees into El Oro from other countries and regions. Unfortunately, in some cases these new trees also brought with them diseases that soon spread to the domestic species, which made it necessary to apply of a number of pesticides and chemicals. Witnessing a deterioration in working conditions and how the application of these new chemicals was negatively affecting the health of his coworkers, Señor Calderón chose a different path for his company, that of Fairtrade Certified production. They achieved Fairtrade status in 2004, and became certified organic in 1999.

Mr. Prieto Senior

THE CO-OPERATIVE AND ITS PRODUCTION

From humble beginnings, SAPRIET now has approximately 250 employees working on 340 hectares. SAPRIET grows Fairtrade and organic certified Cavendish bananas. As production is from January to August, seasonal climactic factors can cause variations in the size of the harvest; however an average 430,000 pounds of bananas per weeks is collected and packaged for sale in international and domestic markets. A much smaller amount of organic cocoa is also grown and sold. To encourage crop diversification, papaya, plantains, peppers, rice, yucca (root), corn, and a variety of fruit is grown and sold at a discounted rate to the employees. Cattle, sheep and poultry are also raised to be sold at the employee’s market.

Plantation de bananiers

IMPACT OF FAIRTRADE

Although the Prieto Agricultural Group is a family owned company, all employees and workers benefit through a self administered employee and worker association. Together the company and the employee and worker association utilize the Fairtrade Premium to operate five basic aid programs: education, health, nutrition, housing as well as culture and sports. 

Education

All employees, workers and their children have the option of receiving a free education. Workers can also attend free workshops which teach them skills in electrical, mechanical, cosmetology and handicrafts while the children learn English, mathematics and useful computer skills.

Fillettes des membres de la coopératve à l'école

Health

Employees and their children also benefit from an internal insurance system. This allows them to access a permanent on-site doctor, a fully stocked pharmacy, a dentist, a rehydration room, and also the assurance that a first-aid kit is always close by should an accident occur while employees are working away from the main farm. Proper nutrition is greatly encouraged through the operation of a mini market offering discounted food operated by the employee and worker association. In instances where employees lack the money to buy the necessary foods, they can take what they need by using a credit system. Through its Happy Family program, the company and the employee and worker association also helps employees to buy their own land or to improve or build their own home.

Centre médical

Financial support

Also after a minimum of seven years of employment, employees are entitled to a $4000 USD bonus to improve their living situation.

Culture and sports promotion

In addition to the benefits above, which help employees meet their basic needs, employees are also encouraged to participate in cultural programs such as play and regularly organized sporting tournaments. One of the most unique undertakings of the company is the employee and worker association’s internal Olympics. During this event, teams of both men and women begin by parading an Olympic flame around the property and then participate in such events as a parade of uniforms, a La Fuerza de la Unión (Strength of Union Marathon) and several other sporting competitions. Awards are given in categories: men, women and seniors as well as an award for the best team and its queen.

Madame Nury Sandoval récolte un régime de bananes

Fairtrade Seed Festival

imageRaju Ganapathy, Fairtrade Liaison Officer in India, discovers a plethora of fruits, spices and other fresh produce at a Fairtrade seed festival. Raju Ganapathy, Fairtrade Liaison Officer in India, discovers a plethora of fruits, spices and other fresh produce at a Fairtrade seed festival.

I am the seed;
Seed is the creation of the cosmos

says Bhagwad Gita; holiest of Hindu Scripture.

Seed is of utmost importance: both in Hindu scripture, and for the livelihoods of the many farmers I work with. So it was with great interest that I went to the annual seed festival organized by Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK), in the pristine Wayanad district of Kerala, South India. 

The festival celebrates the biodiversity on display in the homes and fields of its farmers and promotes the preservation of local seeds. FTAK supports its members to preserve this diversity, while also ensuring food security by enabling each member to meet most of their food needs themselves.

I met farmers like Benny and Shaji, who held stalls offering organic produce and seeds that are able to grow and thrive in the local climate. There were roots and tubers that I had never seen before, even after years of working in agriculture. Umpteen varieties of ginger; bananas; black pepper; I came across a small, round yellow fruit called an eggfruit; I was told about the virtues of mullachakka, a smallish thorny jack fruit which is even supposed to have anti-cancer properties.

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Benny and Shaji at their stall.


The second day focused on women’s central role in farming – something  FTAK seeks to promote among its members. Speaker Julie Cariappa extolled the virtues of homestead farming and said it gave her control over the food that she serves her family. Another speaker Deborah talked about food sovereignty and said the organization has taken the idea of food security even further through the wide variety of foods grown on the farms. It was great to see so many women taking an active role in the day.


Fair Trade Alliance Kerala is a small farmer organization created to enable farmers to access the global market and improve their income through Fairtrade. It now has over 4500 members, growing coffee and many other products including cocoa, cashew nuts, coconuts and tropical spices.

Find out more on FTAK’s Facebook page.

Originally posted by Fairtrade International.

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