-Before I joined Asoguabo, I couldn’t sleep at night. Fair Trade gave me a tremendous peace. Maybe my father would live today if he had been able to join. He died of a heart attack because of stress, says Roberto Rodriguez in Arenillas.
Before they joined Asoguabo, the farmers in the area had troubles with the buyer companies. Often the companies didn’t buy the whole harvest, and the prices were very unstable.
-I was stressed too before I joined Asoguabo, because I just didn’t have enough time and energy. Now I have time to rest. Now we have stability. We can sell all we produce, all year, at a stable price. The income is regular, so I can afford to pay my employees. I can even pay them a little bit more, says Rodriguez.
Through the cooperative, the producers get to sell all the bananas they produce, and the price is the same all year. The market prices vary from a dollar to 14 per box, but in Fair Trade the buyer has to pay a minimum price and a premium of a dollar per box, which is used for social projects. Thanks to the premium the farmers in Arenillas can support the rest of the society, too.
-We give bananas to eight schools and kindergartens in the area. In the future we want to reach all the schools, kindergartens and nurseries.