Praise for Fairtrade Contribution to local Sugar Sector
The main objective of the organisation was to improve the position of small sugar cane growers in developing countries. and the communities that depended on them for their livelihood
The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) has been able to secure premium sugar prices with help from its affiliation with EU-based social movement, Fairtrade Sugar.
Fiji’s Fairtrade Cane Producers’ associations are part of the grower associations that are affiliated to Fairtrade globally.
They were set up in Fiji, in 2012, to promote the interests of Fijian sugar cane farmers.
FSC is primarily involved in the negotiation and sale of sugar.
The Fairtrade premium of US$60 (FJ$128.55) per tonne is paid directly to the Fiji Cane Producers’ Associations and is mostly used to pay for fertiliser, herbicide, weedicide and utilities like electricity and water. The associations have in the past also used the premium to invest in mechanical harvesters. Fairtrade Pacific liaison officer Mukesh Kumar in thanking FSC said: “The efforts of FSC have been wonderful this year in securing premium Fairtrade prices for the three cane producer associations.
“This will assist the associations greatly and ensure that growers get an excellent return for their crop. “Funds earned from this Fairtrade sale will go towards more investments in enhancing mechanical farming equipment and farming supplements.”
FSC chief executive officer, Graham Clark, said this latest commercial sale with Fairtrade accreditation has come about through some effective negotiations with a European based sugar buyer, to purchase 20,000 tonnes of Fairtrade Certified sugar which is being shipped this week.
“Each of Fiji’s three Fairtrade grower associations, in the three mill areas will benefit to the tune of US$400,000 (FJ$857,000) each, as a result of the supply of this Fairtrade Sugar to Europe,” Mr Clark said. “This is very good news for growers and a further demonstration of FSC’s drive to channel as many benefits to growers.
“FSC will also be shipping later this month, its inaugural shipment of 34,000 tonnes of sugar to China. “Of this 20,000 tonnes will be loaded from Labasa and the remainder at Lautoka.”
Who is Fairtrade Sugar?
Fairtrade Sugar was launched in the 1990s in several European markets.
The main objective of the organisation was to improve the position of small sugar cane growers in developing countries, and the communities that depended on them for their livelihood.
In 2000, Fairtrade was launched in the UK and thereafter in Europe.
Fiji, which is 100 per cent Fairtrade certified, has been supplying to customers globally for the last two decades.
Through Fairtrade certification, and by working in partnership with FSC, sugar cane farmers can get improved access to international markets and develop the necessary business skills and technical capacity to become more competitive.