It’s Fairtrade fortnight and today we are kicking off our series of blogs about the countries, people and products that make up the organisation. Lets get started with some producer countries!
Fairtrade supports producers in 74 countries around the world, these are generally found in the Southern Hemisphere where growing conditions are ideal, but large proportions of the population often live in poverty. Below are some regional examples of producer countries and how Fairtrade helps to support the needs of producers in each country.
*Note- GDP (per capita) and Population data taken from the World Bank Data for the year 2015.
GDP per capita ($) for UK = 43,875.97.
Cote d’Ivoire, Africa
GDP (per capita): $3,513.65 or equivalent to 8% of UK GDP (per capita)
Number of Fairtrade producers: 34,961 certified farmers and 55 organisations
Fairtrade produce: Cocoa
Cote d’Ivoire belongs to the West Africa Network of Fairtrade Africa and is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans. As well as guaranteeing a fair income Fairtrade organisations support farmers and workers by providing training in agricultural techniques for quality control in harvesting, shelling, fermenting, etc., and providing farming materials such as machetes and sacks to help with the harvest.
Argentina, South America
GDP (per capita): $13,431.88 or equivalent to 30% of UK GDP (per capita)
Number of Fairtrade producers: 1,223 certified farmers and 13 organisations
Fairtrade produce: Wine
As with several items of South American cuisine wine was introduced to Argentina by European colonists in the 16th Century owing to the ideal conditions for planting vineyards. The Fairtrade cooperative La Riojana now produces approximately 50 million bottles of wine a year, of which nearly 12 per cent is certified organic. Wine producers for La Riojana are able to process, bottle and export their wines directly or sell grapes to wholesalers depending on the capacity of the individual producers.
St Lucia, Caribbean
GDP (per capita): $7,735.91 or equivalent to 18% of UK GDP (per capita)
Number of Fairtrade producers: 1518 certified farmers and 1 organisation
Fairtrade produce: Bananas
Bananas have been crucial to the development of the Windward Islands for more than 50 years –employing 50% of the workforce and contributing 50% of export earnings at the height of the industry. Global competition from Latin America and West Africa has seen the industry come under strain, driving down the price of bananas and making it difficult for farmers to cover the cost of production. Fairtrade in St Lucia helps to relieve this strain and has played a central role in recovering the industry form ruin. Now approximately 85% of the Windward Islands bananas are Fairtrade produce.
Population: 1.311 Billion
GDP (per capita): $1,598.26 or equivalent to 4% of UK GDP (per capita)
Number of Fairtrade producers: 121,400 certified farmers and 72 organisations
Fairtrade produce: Tea, and much more…
India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, however it also has an enormous, (and ever increasing), population of over 1 billion people, many of whom live in poverty. Though famous for growing tea India’s rich soil and warm climate allow producers and farmers to grow cotton, cocoa, coffee, herbs, dried fruits, fruits and vegetables, sugar, rice, spices, tea, cotton and edible oil. Fairtrade India is able to support 121,400 of farmers and workers from these industries ensuring they are giving a fair price for their produce and using the Fairtrade premium to improve the lives of working communities.
For more information about Fairtrade producer countries and local organisations visit the Fairtrade website.