|Fair Trade - a different approach to global trade|
Gandhi once said to ‘be the change’ you want to see in the world. Today, thanks to Fair Trade you can now buy the change.
These are not conflicting terms. The Fair Trade concept is beneficial
to both the producer
Fair Trade is a market-driven commercial model, not a charity or developmental
aid mechanism. It is a growing trend for development based upon improved
trading relationships and commercial opportunities. Fair Trade empowers
producers and guarantees higher quality products for consumers.
Case in point:
Oro Verde is a coffee-producing co-operative under the shade of the Amazon Jungle in Lamas, Peru. Oro Verde was founded in 1999 by 56 coffee-growing families. By 2005 Oro Verde grew to 450 associates organized in 18 democratic sectional committees. The small-scale coffee producers are united to confront the needs and economic problems within their communities as well as to establish and implement social and cultural programs. Their vision is to sustain an increasing socio-economic level and cultural awareness of its member families and their respective communities. They believe in the success of their business because they produce a high quality product, free of contaminants in accord with the environment.
Oro Verde consists of people from many different groups. The members
are people of Amazonian origins, descendants of the Chanka ethnos,
and immigrants from the Andean zone. Yet despite their ethnic difference,
they are united under the common goal of producing coffee to the highest
standards. Many communities like Oro Verde now have their own scales
and warehouses, which make them more independent and less susceptible
to fraud. Although there has been regional progress, only Oro Verde
and several other co-operatives have their own cuppers, specially trained
individuals that enable autonomous quality-control.
“We strive to be a model company, proprietary united, democratically controlled, and based on the cooperative principle where all members believe in the same ethical values.”
The Manager of Oro Verde Hiderico
Bocangel Zavala came to speak at Mount Holyoke College.
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