The latest news from Fairtrade Australia New Zealand

  • Ethical Fashion Report
    19 Apr 2017

    FAIRTRADE BRANDS SECURE TOP SPOTS IN ETHICAL FASHION REPORT

    Fairtrade brands have once again received top marks when it comes to protecting the rights of farmers and workers, according a new report released today. 


  • Tongan Vanila
    14 Apr 2017

    Competing to find the best vanilla grower on the island of Vava’u

    Last month the Vanilla Growers Association of Vava’u (VGA) in Tonga rolled out their first Fairtrade Premium project which aimed to reward members’ efforts and encourage excellence in the production of vanilla. With the backing of their General Assembly and the support of the Vava’u vanilla industry, a competition was held using VGA’s Premium to recognise vanilla growers who demonstrated their mastery of best practices of vanilla production.

  • World Health Day
    05 Apr 2017

    CEO Blog: Unlocking World Health

    Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand CEO Molly Harriss Olson explores what a healthy humanity looks like in light of this year’s World Health Day theme of depression.  

    “Promoting and protecting health and respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights are inextricably linked.” 

    Health and Human Rights Linkages, from the WHO’s Health and Human Rights section


  • Heart shaped hands holding cocoa
    31 Mar 2017

    Fairtrade responds to A Matter of Taste Report 2017

    A report released this week reinforces the strength of certification systems such as Fairtrade as robust mechanisms to help end exploitation, especially child and forced labour in the chocolate supply chain. Among all certification schemes operating in the cocoa supply chain, the report ‘A Matter of Taste’ scored Fairtrade the highest overall. 


    The report acknowledged the significant impact of certifiers and businesses in addressing critical issues such as unacceptable labour practices of children in the sector. However, we consider that its limited scope, brevity and methodology do not fully reflect the extent of Fairtrade’s work into building a robust, comprehensive and proactive approach to address and prevent child and forced labour, including human trafficking.

  • Preview image Unen Choit
    21 Mar 2017

    Walking to the heart of Unen Choit’s coffee growers

    Over the holiday season Unen Choit (UC) Cooperative Society navigated Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) mountainous landscape via land and sea to pioneer the rollout of Fairtrade’s Producer Library amongst their 925 farmer members. Fairtrade’s Producer Library is a compilation of training tools based on stories, which are told through illustrations and presented as games making the training widely accessible, particularly in communities with low literacy levels. 


  • Annie Wanita Gayo Preview
    08 Mar 2017

    Blog: See how Annie is securing women's rights this international women's day

    It’s International Women’s Day today and, for the last three weeks we’ve been becoming inspired by some brilliant women who are creating change in their communities. They’re all women who show us just how to #BeBoldForChange.

    It’s International Women’s Day today and, for the last three weeks we’ve been becoming inspired by some brilliant women who are creating change in their communities. They’re all women who show us just how to #BeBoldForChange

    Here, we profile another leader, Rizkani Ahmad (Annie). Annie is Chairwoman of Koperasi Kopi Wanita Gayo women’s coffee cooperative in Sumatra, Indonesia, and is dedicated to securing the rights of the farmers who work alongside her by investing in healthcare and extensive training. Here’s how she’s standing up for change with her cooperative, the first all-women coffee cooperative in Southeast Asia.

    “My hope for my children is that they will learn from the women in our cooperative to create a system that gives back. I want them to continue what I’ve started. I want everyone to work together to protect the environment and overall produce better coffee.”

    Annie’s dream is one where everyone works to produce something greater than themselves. It may seem idealistic but with passion and insight like hers, she knows the steps to take to achieve it. As Chairwoman of the Gayo Women’s Coffee Cooperative – a role she’s held for almost three years – Annie is able to set the cogs in motion and address the gaps she sees in her community. And as the owner of a farm herself – she has a plot of one hectare – she understands farmers’ needs.

    It’s an essential leadership role and Annie is bold in the face of creating change for the women she works with every day, helping to empower them in their communities and develop their voices in the realm of business.

    Giving women a voice

    Since it became certified in 2015 – just one year after it was set up – the cooperative has provided essential training and work opportunities for women across Sumatra. Before Fairtrade, accessing this level of assistance was difficult – as it is for many women, who do not have access to a proper support network or the money they need.

    To be in the cooperative, the women have to own land – but this was no easy feat right at the beginning. About a third of the original members inherited land from their parents. However double this amount had the huge task of persuading their husband to give them land ownership rights.

    Fairtrade funds go directly back to the women

    But Annie says that Fairtrade certification helps to directly address her needs and those of all the women. As Annie’s own coffee farm and the cooperative of farmers she oversees has become certified, the Fairtrade funds have been used directly by the women for healthcare and for the kids.

    “The voices on how to use the Premiums come from the women within the communities,” says Annie. Community members can choose democratically where the income from their hard work goes. “With the funds for women’s reproductive health, we’ve raised a proposal with the Premium Committee and this will be something that will be formed within two years.”

    But the biggest impact that becoming Fairtrade has had on Annie’s own life is at a personal level. “Recently I’ve obtained pruning, composting and fertilisation training and on money management for the household,” she says. I’ve become more active with the society and my neighbourhood – this means I have an in-depth knowledge of my neighbourhood and the challenges they have in growing coffee. I also know how to address these issues.”

    In terms of the needs of the kids, this revolves around education. For almost a year now, families nearby are able to send their kids to kindergartens that have been supported by a women’s or

    ganisation and by the Fairtrade Premium.

    Annie has a message for all of us over here in Australia and New Zealand. “It’s important to buy Fairtrade, she says with a smile. “I hope all the coffee roasters want to buy Fairtrade coffee, especially from Sumatra and especially from the Gayo Women Coffee Cooperative. This way, they can support Gayo and work to improve the livelihoods of our women.”

    It’s International Women’s Day but that doesn’t mean we’re forgetting these women – or the other thousands of strong women who are creating change on a daily basis. At Fairtrade, we’re dedicated to gender equality and to seeing all people get a fair go without barriers.

    How are you celebrating this International Women’s Day? Let us know on Facebook, where we’ve also shared a few more inspiring stories.


    It’s International Women’s Day today and, for the last three weeks we’ve been becoming inspired by some brilliant women who are creating change in their communities. They’re all women who show us just how to #BeBoldForChange

    Here, we profile another leader, Rizkani Ahmad (Annie). Annie is Chairwoman of Koperasi Kopi Wanita Gayo women’s coffee cooperative in Sumatra, Indonesia, and is dedicated to securing the rights of the farmers who work alongside her by investing in healthcare and extensive training. Here’s how she’s standing up for change with her cooperative, the first all-women coffee cooperative in Southeast Asia.

    “My hope for my children is that they will learn from the women in our cooperative to create a system that gives back. I want them to continue what I’ve started. I want everyone to work together to protect the environment and overall produce better coffee.”

    Annie’s dream is one where everyone works to produce something greater than themselves. It may seem idealistic but with passion and insight like hers, she knows the steps to take to achieve it. As Chairwoman of the Gayo Women’s Coffee Cooperative – a role she’s held for almost three years – Annie is able to set the cogs in motion and address the gaps she sees in her community. And as the owner of a farm herself – she has a plot of one hectare – she understands farmers’ needs.

    It’s an essential leadership role and Annie is bold in the face of creating change for the women she works with every day, helping to empower them in their communities and develop their voices in the realm of business.

    Giving women a voice

    Since it became certified in 2015 – just one year after it was set up – the cooperative has provided essential training and work opportunities for women across Sumatra. Before Fairtrade, accessing this level of assistance was difficult – as it is for many women, who do not have access to a proper support network or the money they need.

    To be in the cooperative, the women have to own land – but this was no easy feat right at the beginning. About a third of the original members inherited land from their parents. However double this amount had the huge task of persuading their husband to give them land ownership rights.

    Fairtrade funds go directly back to the women

    But Annie says that Fairtrade certification helps to directly address her needs and those of all the women. As Annie’s own coffee farm and the cooperative of farmers she oversees has become certified, the Fairtrade funds have been used directly by the women for healthcare and for the kids.

    “The voices on how to use the Premiums come from the women within the communities,” says Annie. Community members can choose democratically where the income from their hard work goes. “With the funds for women’s reproductive health, we’ve raised a proposal with the Premium Committee and this will be something that will be formed within two years.”

    But the biggest impact that becoming Fairtrade has had on Annie’s own life is at a personal level. “Recently I’ve obtained pruning, composting and fertilisation training and on money management for the household,” she says. I’ve become more active with the society and my neighbourhood – this means I have an in-depth knowledge of my neighbourhood and the challenges they have in growing coffee. I also know how to address these issues.”

    In terms of the needs of the kids, this revolves around education. For almost a year now, families nearby are able to send their kids to kindergartens that have been supported by a women’s or

    ganisation and by the Fairtrade Premium.

    Annie has a message for all of us over here in Australia and New Zealand. “It’s important to buy Fairtrade, she says with a smile. “I hope all the coffee roasters want to buy Fairtrade coffee, especially from Sumatra and especially from the Gayo Women Coffee Cooperative. This way, they can support Gayo and work to improve the livelihoods of our women.”

    It’s International Women’s Day but that doesn’t mean we’re forgetting these women – or the other thousands of strong women who are creating change on a daily basis. At Fairtrade, we’re dedicated to gender equality and to seeing all people get a fair go without barriers.

    How are you celebrating this International Women’s Day? Let us know on Facebook, where we’ve also shared a few more inspiring stories.


  • Vasudha cotton cooperative
    01 Mar 2017

    Blog: Independence, purpose, connection - This sewing group is bold for change

    Big, bold and often brash, the global fashion industry is as famous for its endless creativity as it is for its inequality and exploitation. At the same time as models strut the catwalk, stories surface of devastating events that shape the lives of the most often invisible cotton farmers and garment workers. Events like the Rana Plaza factory fires have the potential to shatter the lives of rural workers.

    Sometimes it takes more than one woman to create change in an industry that’s ingrained with defects. That’s why members of the Vasudha cotton cooperative grouped together to give a women-first focus in a space where their voices aren’t often heard. They gain independence and form deep friendships – all because of their shared skills in sewing.

    In this week’s edition of our International Women’s Day series, Amy from Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand writes about meeting the women’s sewing group who are dedicated to empowerment.

  • International Womens Day
    26 Feb 2017

    Blog: Dedicated to improving the lives of women

    In rural areas, where it’s often difficult to create change when it comes to gender equality, Fairtrade Associate Wardah Hasyim has dedicated her life to improving the lives of women. 

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