Samoan coconut farmers gain Fairtrade certification


<p style="text-align: justify;">The Savai’i Coconut Farmers Association have a first. It is the first Samoan farming organisation to receive the Fairtrade Certification. <!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This means that this young organization with a small membership meets with Fairtrade Standards of social and environmental performance, as well as business accountability and transparency. These farmers are the first producer organization in Samoa to be Fairtrade Certified.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Savaii Coconut Farmers Association worked towards its certification for less than a year, and it reached this milestone in early September. The Savai’i based association adopted Fairtrade certification as a business strategy to increase members’ income and to be able to contribute towards the development of their communities.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">According to the members, the Fairtrade Premium that the organisation would receive from their Fairtrade sales will be invested in community projects to improve access to education and health services, as well as on strengthening their business. As encouraged by Fairtrade Standards, these projects will be discussed and approved democratically by all members within the association.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Fairtrade is a market-based development mechanism with demand driven via the Fairtrade Certification Mark. As the most widely recognized ethical label in the world, the Mark allows consumers to identify products that have been produced and traded under international standards for sustainable production and equal trade; and also enables growers to improve the visibility of their commodities on supermarket shelves.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Fairtrade ensures that farmers within the system receive a price which covers the cost of sustainable production, known as the Fairtrade Minimum Price, and the additional Fairtrade Premium Price, which producer organizations can invest democratically on community projects to enhance social, economic and environmental development within their communities.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Supported by its local buyer Krissy Co, the kiwi ice cream company Nice Blocks and Fairtrade ANZ, the organization aims to contribute to the recovery of the coconut cream industry in Samoa, which has declined by 50% in the last 10 years.</p>
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