Impact Report 2018: Invest In FarmersApril 18 2019
Did you know that being a Fair-Trade certified company is much more than just paying farmers a living wage? It also provides additional funding to be invested in their communities. This is called a Fair Trade Premium. By definition, the premium is a sum of money paid to the cooperative on top of the Fair-Trade price, for investment in social, environmental and economic projects, decided upon by producers within the cooperatives.
In 2018 Alter Eco purchased 3.5 million of fair-trade purchases and paid an additional $180,528 in Fair Trade premiums.
[caption="Our coconut farmers at FTAK in India", image="left"]
This money has been put to good use. In Peru, at the Acopagro Cooperative, the premiums have been invested in projects including technical assistance for farmers, scholarship programs for children, complex irrigation systems to increase crop yields, low-credit loans, and health services including vision exams, blood test and gynecologic screenings.
[caption="Gilberto, our cacao farmer at ACOPAGRO in Peru", image="right"]
For us, Fair Trade is about developing a true, direct and long-lasting relationship with our farmers. The 21,344 farmers that we have had the pleasure to work with over the years are an integral part of our company, our values and our daily work. Since we negotiate directly with them, rather than going through a third party, it allows us to pay for our cacao 56% above the Fair Trade minimum price for cacao. This means more money for the farmers and their community, more transparency in our purchases, and an even greater quality in our products for you!
Our relationship with the producers doesn't stop here. This year our coop in Kerala, India, where we source our coconut oil, was badly hurt by disastrous floods. Thanks to the help of our amazing community, generous investors and a campaign with National Co+op Grocers and Presence Marketing we were able to raise over $30,000. With this help, our farmers were able to repair their infrastructure and fields, buy new crops and continue their cultivation of high quality coconut oil.