BONN, Germany — Fairtrade International, the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), and the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC) announced an innovative partnership yesterday at the Fairtrade International conference “Changing Trade, Changing Lives.” The partnership aims to boost income and food security for small-scale farmers, bolster resilience, and improve natural resource management in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the three organizations pledges to collaborate on 1) financing, researching, and implementing sustainable farming best practices; 2) increasing productivity and capacity through technical training and field schools for Fairtrade farmers; 3) facilitating access to finance for climate and crop insurance; 4) opening new markets to farmers; 5) building resilience to climate change; 6) helping producers move up the value chain; and 7) encouraging South-South learning.
“This partnership is another step on the way to getting decent incomes and decent work for thousands of small scale farmers and cooperatives in the region,” said Fairtrade International CEO Dario Soto Abril. “By combining our expertise we can achieve far more than on our own. Fairtrade is already the leading international movement to change the global trade system, and this exciting collaboration will further strengthen our campaign for better prices and a decent income for producers and workers in the global south.”
“The Inter-American Foundation brings 50 years of experience investing in grassroots innovations to address local development challenges, particularly in sustainable agriculture,” said IAF President and CEO Paloma Adams-Allen. “By partnering with Fairtrade International and CLAC, we are able to provide our grantee partners with additional opportunities and resources for them to improve the lives of their families and communities.”
“Many of our members face huge challenges in making a decent living from small-scale farming,” said Xiomara Paredes, CEO of CLAC. “The current crisis in the price of coffee which is driving many coffee farmers out of business is just one example. We hope this new partnership will have a transformational impact on the productivity, efficiency, and financial sustainability of farmers and producers.”