We recently commented on the Institute of Economic Affairs’ critical report of fair trade. One of the concerns raised in the report is that fair trade doesn’t do enough to help those who need the most support.
A significant case study to counteract this argument is the development of Fairtrade certified produce from conflict zones. Thanks to a Shared Interest customer, Fairtrade raisins from Afghanistan are now available.
Sunderland-based Tropical Wholefoods have been working with the Parwan Raisin Producer Co-operative (PRPC) since 2006. Tropical Wholefood’s Co-Founder, Adam Brett told the Fairtrade Foundation “The past three decades of fighting during the Soviet occupation, civil war and Taliban regime have virtually decimated the plain. Grape farmers experienced ever decreasing yields, and due to the troubles, access to improved technology and to markets was impossible. Fair trade will help them to a sustainable living by creating export opportunities.”
There are around 300 farmers involved in this co-operative, current member Haji Aenudin said:
“By selling raisins directly to exporters and not going via a trader, we will get more money for our raisins. My great hope is that peace will return to Afghanistan and for a good life for my children and their children.”
Shared Interest provides finance to enable fair trade buyers such as Tropical Wholefoods to pre-finance orders from producer groups like the PRPC, who may not otherwise have access to finance. To find out more about ethical investment in fair trade click here.
Tropical Wholefoods purchased 40 tonnes of raisins from the producer group in 2010. Whilst 40 tonnes is a small quantity, according to their website, Tropical Wholefoods are confident that substantially higher quantities of raisins will be purchased in 2011 and into the future. You can purchase Fairtrade raisins directly from their website.
We are giving away three bags of these Fairtrade raisins, to be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is post your answer to the following question in the comments box below:
What is the name of the Afghan raisin co-operative?
Click here to learn how you can invest in fair trade.
Click here to donate to the Shared Interest Foundation