Small farmers planning their own fairtrade mark

simbolo1In the future, some fairtrade products will be sold with an extra sticker, the symbol you see here. It means the product comes from a small farmer.

A pilot project is under way to mark the products with this symbol, in order to distinguish them from fairtrade products that are produced on big farms and plantations. The goal is to start using the sticker in january 2010.

The organization CLAC (network for small fairtrade farmers in the Carribbean and Latin America) is launching the symbol to help consumers support small farmers who are having trouble competing with the more cost efficient plantations.

-It’s good that plantation workers are getting a better life through Fair Trade, but it can’t be at the expense of small farmers, says Leonardo Bravo, Asoguabo’s vice president and active in CLAC.

-Bananas from small farmers are of higher quality. A farmer who only packs ten boxes has time to do it carefully, and take his time. And the small farmer grows his bananas in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way than the monocropping, semi-automatized plantations.

Goals for the small farmer symbol

  • Is used for coffee, cacao, bananas, fresh fruits and honey.
  • Should be present in at least six European countries, the US, Canada and Australia.
  • All small farmers’ organisations and buyers that meet the criteria of CLAC may use the sticker. The criteria do not concern prices, premiums or environmental impact because the farmers already belong to Fair Trade. The purpose is to guarantee that the product comes from a small farmer and not from a plantation.
  • Is going to be in use from January 2010.

Source: Plan estrategico y plan 2009 del simbolo de pequeños productores de la CLAC

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