Date Posted: July 9th, 2012
Fair trade is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. The principles of fair trade encourage environmentally sustainable production practices while securing fair prices for the producers. Fair trade practices also aim to direct a portion of the profits to encourage community development.
Farmers are able to get better prices for their products by becoming fair trade certified. But, as seen in this story, the process of obtaining and maintaining certification can be costly.
To learn more about certification through FLO CERT, an independent certifier of fair trade products, visit: http://www.flo-cert.net/flo-cert/
For information on Fair Trade in Africa, described as an “independent non-profit umbrella organization representing all Fairtrade certified producers in Africa,” visit: http://www.fairtradeafrica.net/
We have covered the topic of fair trade certification in Farm Radio Weekly #68:
Burkina Faso: Women live better thanks to cooperative’s fair trade certification (Farm Radio Weekly #68): http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/01/1-burkina-faso-women-live-better-thanks-to-cooperative%E2%80%99s-fair-trade-certification-farm-radio-weekly/
You may wish to produce a news feature on farmers or farmers’ co-operatives in your area that have obtained fair trade or organic certification (or perhaps one that is in the process of obtaining certification). Questions to explore include:
-Where did they receive the information about certification?
-What changes did they need to make in order to meet the certification requirements?
-Did they receive assistance in making these changes?
-What certification procedures (inspections, audits, etc.) did they go through?
-What costs were associated with making changes and meeting requirements to obtain certification?
-How has their income level changed as a result of certification?
-What tips do they have for other farmers or farmers’ co-operatives who wish to obtain certification?