Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is produced in the Philippines under the FairTSA Fair Trade Standard.
Dr. Winfried Fuchshofen, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTSA) explains about the organisation’s methods and how their programme benefits the local workers and their families.
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Realising that sound development can only work when the people in question have a serious stake in the planning and execution, our program is designed to emphasise democratic community input while valuing indigenous community structures.
This process is slower and more complex than a simple top-down approach, but we strongly believe that over time this is the only way for the producer communities to become truly sustainable in all aspects of their lives.
The FairTSA Fair Trade standard requires that certified producer communities must plan and execute a community development project, which is financed by the Social Premium that the buyer of the products – and eventually the consumer – pays.
Acceptable Community Projects
Furthermore, the standard delineates the type of acceptable projects, which range from healthcare to environmental projects to improving agricultural and post-harvest practices to creating safe drinking water supply, support of education on all age levels, vocational training and training for small business ventures.
The producer communities or the key development partner (a company committed to Fair Trade that purchases the ingredients from small farmers or cooperatives) will receive the money (we call it Social Premium) and have to ensure that it is solely spent for the plan they need to develop.
A current FairTSA project is that of the farmers growing the coconuts and bananas for Celebes Coconut Corporation.
Fair Trade in the Philippines
Celebes Coconut works with more than 3,000 farmers in Northern Mindanao in the Philippines. The farmers grow coconuts and bananas mostly in an agroforestry setting. In agroforestry the crops (here bananas and coconuts) are grown amongst the natural tropical vegetation, and it is one of the most environmentally friendly agricultural production systems in existence.
Safe Drinking Water
The first part of the community project was the drilling of wells in two project villages without access to safe drinking water, where mostly the women had to walk more than two hours to get drinking water from streams that were often polluted.
After completion of the two wells the farmer community now wish to install solar-powered lighting in several of the project villages, as they have no access to electricity and therefore no way of illuminating their simple homes. The plan for this endeavour is currently being finalised. As soon as it is finished, implementation of the next project phase will commence.
With our and the commitment of our partners, be they farmers, farm workers, producers, or brand owners and last but not least the consumers that buy the products with our seal, we will continue our path to supporting a fairer world for all, creating new possibilities and better living conditions for rural communities around the globe.
About Lucy Bee Limited
Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health.
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Dr Winfried Fuchshofen, PhD is the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA). His doctorate is in Ecological Agriculture. Winfried has been focused on international sustainability projects for over 30 years.