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

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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.

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