Fairtrade ANZ's presence at the three day event in Nadi, Fiji (25-27 June), put the benefits that Fairtrade certification is bringing to the Pacific region in the spotlight. The Fijian Labasa Cane Sugar Association was the local example of how Fairtrade certification is boosting small producers’ capacity to succeed in the extremely competitive international commodity market.
At Fairtrade ANZ’s booth, LCPA Acting Manager Mukesh Kumar shared with buyers and farmer visitors the story of its more than 4000 cane grower members who entered the Fairtrade system in 2011. It is estimated that more than 15,000 people are beneficiaries of the organisation, which in 2011 received USD$ 2.2 million in Fairtrade Premium. With this money, farmers are funding water supply projects and computers for schools, the restoration of local bridges, and most importantly, the reinvestment in technical assistance for improvements in cane production.
Fairtrade ANZ also showcased the story of thousands of Fairtrade certified cocoa, coffee and vanilla producers from Papua New Guinea, who are bringing the benefits of Fairtrade certification to their communities.
The Fairtrade Premium is helping these Pacific based producers to afford new water supply systems, schools, transport and machinery to enhance their business and develop their communities.
Trade Pasifika provided an opportunity for Fairtrade certified producers from the Pacific to liaise with buyers and development organisations in the Pacific. These new relationships will bring opportunities for agricultural-driven projects to tackle social and business challenges and encourage sustainable economic development in the region.
In the photo (from left to right) Chairperson of Trade Pasifika's Steering Committee Kaliopate Tavola, Fairtrade ANZ PSR Officer Will Valverde, and LCPA Acting Manager Mukesh Kumar.