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When you buy Co-op Fairtrade products, you’re directly improving the lives of farmers and communities around the world.
I recently visited Cote d’Ivoire and met Awa Traoré Bomba who explained to me the difference Fairtrade has had in her life.
How Fairtrade helps
At 30 years old, Awa is the director of their cocoa co-operative, overseeing over 2,000 farmers, 90% of whom are men. They became Fairtrade-certified six years ago and it has totally changed the way they live.
“Before, it was hard to buy food, to meet our families’ needs. But with Fairtrade, there is a set price that producers get for their crops, regardless of fluctuations in the market. That minimum allows producers and their families to live decently. There is a lot of training. Our farmers learn to manage their income, to control production costs and to invest. They can get credit if they need equipment or machinery, and we ensure that they are using the correct fertilisers. All this has a visible impact: before, we had fields where farmers were producing 200 to 300 tonnes per hectare. Now, by following good agricultural practices, they have doubled their output.” Awa Traoré Bomba, Fairtrade producer
Thanks to Fairtrade, Awa was able to train at the School of Women’s Leadership, which has been funded by Fairtrade Premium from the cocoa Co-op buys in partnership with Fairtrade Africa. The programme helped her become a director at such a young age.In African society, women are often marginalised and don’t have access to education, so schools like this are so important. They help bring more women producers into Fairtrade and train them to become self-sufficient.
How you can help
We are proud to be the UK’s largest convenience retailer of Fairtrade products. This means that we have helped provide better prices, working conditions and terms of trade to our suppliers in developing countries. Here’s how you can help make a difference:
- Swap one item in your basket for a Fairtrade item. The choices you make every time you shop help change lives around the world. So why don’t you join us and make a pledge to swap just one purchase a week to a Fairtrade product. Whether it’s bananas on your breakfast or the chilled white wine, by making this one switch a week together we can make a big difference to the lives of millions.
- Download our celebration pack. Access stories, recipes, hints and tips on how to spread the word of Fairtrade in your community.
- Sign the Fairtrade Foundation petition. Urge the UK government to make poverty reduction and fair trade is prioritised.
Sustainable Sourcing & Fairtrade Manager
Read more on Fairtrade at our Co-op;
- Fairtrade won’t work if we continue to confuse customers
- By working together our co-operatives support communities around the world
- We’re helping empower women Fairtrade cocoa farmers