-Fair Trade protects the environment, the workers and my family. The stability ensures my family’s future, says Segundo Caguana.
-Because I get a guaranteed price all year, I can afford to pay my workers even if they’re sick at home. Farmers outside Fair Trade can’t afford that, because they have no stability.
Caguana has three employees affiliated with the social security system, which Asoguabo demands. He is the president of the member association in La Libertad, and we meet at the association’s offices. A red building with a bust of Asoguabo’s first president, Jorge Ramirez, in the yard.
-We have internet now. Asoguabo paid for the connection and the association paid for the antenna tower. We got a new computer and everything, he says and shows us the office room.
Every member association gets 20 cents of the 1 dollar fairtrade premium per box of bananas.
Next door is the carton warehouse. The piles of folded banana boxes almost reach the ceiling. The biggest room in the building is the meeting hall. It has a kitchen, toilets and a podium with tv and whiteboard. This is where the association’s members meet.
When we exit the building, Cagua shows the association’s chemical warehouse at the front of the building. It’s a room full of barrels and bottles of different sizes, filled with agrochemicals and their organic substitutes.
-We buy large quantities because we get them cheaper that way. Then the farmers buy directly from us for the same price. It’s cheaper than getting everything yourself, says Caguana.