Improving Lives

"Fair Trade is all about improving lives, but we don't do that through charity- there are no hand outs in the Fair Trade world." - Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA

Through Fair Trade certification not only do farmers and artisans earn a higher price for their goods, they also receive an additional premium fund for community development projects. These funds are used for things like building schools, health care clinics and clean water wells, as well as for home loans, scholarships and transportation. Fair Trade empowers communities to take their futures into their own hands.

Investment in People and Communities ....The Fairtrade Premium

In addition to the price paid for the product, there is an additional sum of money, called the Fairtrade Premium, that farmers and artisans receive for products sold on Fairtrade terms. This money goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.

The use of this additional income is decided upon democratically by producers within the farmers or Artisans organization, or by a co-op committee. The Premium is invested in education and healthcare, farm improvements to increase yield and quality, or processing facilities to increase income. Some other examples of projects funded through Fair Trade premium include the building of health care clinics and schools, starting scholarship funds, building housing and providing leadership training and women's empowerment programs.

As many projects funded by the Premium are communal, the broader community, outside the producer organization often benefits from Fairtrade.

The atttached picture is of young children with their teacher outside of the school that the members of KBQB (Koperasi Baitul Qiradh Baburrayyanchose) ( Community Coffee Co-op - 600 members)  built with some of their Fair Trade community development Fair Trade premiums in Indonesia. Now the area children don't have to bus to a school further away. KBQB is located in Aceh Tengah, one of the sub-districts in the Aceh province of Sumatra. Cooperative members come from this sub-district as well as from Bener Meriah. This area is home to the well-known specialty coffee, “Gayo coffee”. Fair Trade Premiums are invested in the Community. In this example in:

Click below:    .... to watch YouTube video on 'Improving Lives', Fair Trade USA. (2.04min)