Fruits and Vegetables
Due to the often limited nature of our growing season, along with our climate in general, we are often limited in what we can produce and when. As a result of this, we rely heavily upon importing. A variety of fruits and an increasing number of vegetables are now available as Fair Trade. These include mangos, pineapples, blueberries, avocados and many more.
Organic avocado production began in Uruapan, Mexico, as a pilot project of a local university in 1994. In 2001, 19 organic avocado producers formed the cooperative Pragor (Productores deAguacate Organico). Using their shared experience to improve organic production methods, the collective formed a partnership with Fairtrasa to market and export their produce at a fair price under the Fair Trade system. Fair Trade premiums have meant Pragor members can improve their farms and convert more acreage to organic production. The famers make collective decisions on how to use the premiums to fund social projects that benefit their entire community such as a school for handicapped children, a drinking water well, and paving roads between remote villages. Since teaming up withFairtrasa, the cooperative has grown to 95 members and has seen their sales increase by 2,000%. With each one of the avocadoes now sold in over 12 countries, they are improving their living conditions and rising out of poverty.
Blueberries are perfect as a topping on your morning cereal, pancakes and deserts or to enjoy as a healthy afternoon snack. Blueberries are among the healthiest foods on the planet and contain antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. Additionally, blueberries are high in manganese as well as vitamin K.
- With the premiums that were paid in the 2008-2009 season for the Fair Trade blueberries, the workers of the farms have:
- Made a donation of 423 pairs of shoes to the children of a public school in Soldado Maldonado Community
- Made a donation of funds to help Rafa, an eight year old boy who had an accident with a high tension wire
- Made a donation of a special wheel chair to Jason, a nine year boy that has a severe disability
- In addition, the community has built a bakery and a brick factory so that these products are more affordable for the local community
Information provided by Interrupcion Fair Trade.
Coconut is widely consumed for its flavor but also for its health benefits. It is known to aid in digestion, protect the immune system, prevent heart disease, and boost metabolism.
- The coconut is used in a variety of manners:
- Dried or shredded for baking
- Bath and Body products
- Coconut milk for beverages
- Fresh for consumption
Coconut farmers engaging in the Fair Trade system have enjoyed stable market prices and access to an international market. This has allowed growth and a sustainable approach to farming and life.
Information provided by Fairtrasa.
In many countries, workers on fresh fruit plantations face unsafe working conditions, as well as short-term contracts offering low wages and few benefits. Similarly, small farmers frequently find it difficult to cover their production costs, and to compete with large companies.
- The majority of Fair Trade mangos are from Peru or Mexico
- For some producers in those regions, mangos are the main source of income
The producers of Fair Trade mangos have been able to increase productivity and establish a stable source of income for their communities as a result of their engagement with Fair Trade distributors.
The APROMALPI producers have increased their production from 8,5t per hectare to 10t per hectare, resulting from a progressive densification of the numbers of trees per hectares and better technical management. The Agrovida association has received their first social premium as a result of their relationship with Discovery Organics. Agrovida has also developed a valuable relationship with the APROMALPI producers that will assist them with their exporting abilities.
Costa Rica and Ghana are the two main exporting countries of Fair Trade pineapples. The two main varieties are Smooth Cayenne and MD2. Pineapples are available year-round but peak harvesting occurs between March and July
Bomarts and Blue Skies Organic Collective are two collectives from Ghana that have been producing Fair Trade pineapples. ASOPROAGROIN is an organization of small and medium sized Costa Rican producers that has seen the benefits of Fair Trade pineapple production. These collectives have enjoyed Social Premiums and improved working conditions that are associated with the Fair Trade system, while producing a quality pineapple that is enjoyed around the world