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First Fairtrade Awards recognise outstanding organizations and individuals

Over 100 groups and individuals applied for the fist-ever Fairtrade Awards, reporting their achievements towards fairer conditions and treatments for millions of smallholders and producers. Among the plenty and the breadth of the entries, eight applicants were finally awarded. The winners include small producers, farmers, traders, workers´ committees and individuals. Keep looking out for all these individual stories on Fairtrade International website throughout 2014.

The winners of these first-ever Awards are:

· Small Producer Organization – Africa: Kibinge Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society, Ltd.

Kibinge Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society, Ltd has set up a savings and credit scheme to provide credit to members and non-members at an affordable rate. They also have a farm supply shop that gives technical information and good advice on the safe use of chemicals and fertilizers. Moreover, Kibinge has performed extremely well in complying with the Fairtrade Standards.

David Lukwata, Manager of Kibinge Coffee Farmers Cooperative, came to Germany to personally accept the award for Small Producer Organization in Africa. “I’m very happy to be here,” he said, “This is a proud and special moment for me and all the members of our cooperative”.

fi awards

Picture description: David Lukwata, Manager of Kibinge Coffee Farmers Cooperative accepting the award for Small Producer Organization in Africa.

· Workers’ Premium Committee – Africa: Harvest, Ltd.

Only one year after becoming Fairtrade certified, Harvest LTD launched an ambitious 5-year strategic plan focused on gender and environmental protection. Their Premium money has been dedicated to supporting public schools in the community, with extra attention to ensure girls´ attendance. They are also planting trees alongside the River Athi to protect and improve the surrounding ecosystem.

· Small Producer Organization - Asia: Marginalised Organic Producers Association (MOPA) in Sri Lanka

Members of MOPA dedicate 75 percent of their Premium to fund projects proposed by the farmers themselves, with a primary focus on improving productivity and product quality, sustainable production methods, as well as living conditions of the farmers.

· Workers’ Premium Committee Asia: Stassen Bio Tea Project in Sri Lanka

Stassen Bio Tea Project decided to invest in essential transport services as a key to improving living in the communities and making access to work, education and health care easier.

· Small Producer Organization – Latin America & the Caribbean: Cooperativa Caficultores de Antioquia in Colombia

The coffee farmers in this cooperative created a detailed plan to invest the Fairtrade Premium in social projects, increasing workers’ welfare and productivity. The organization worked hard to reduce its non-conformities with the Fairtrade Standards and achieved an average of 4.1 in the Fairtrade Development Standards.

· Workers’ Premium Committee – Latin America & the Caribbean: Coporacion Rosalba Zapata Cardona in Colombia

The Rosalba Zapata Cardona Housing Project created living spaces for 397 workers and their families, and gained employment for many more in the surrounding area. The Corporation also offers support for home improvements for workers that own their piece of land but lack the fund to build housing.

· Fairest Trader: All Good Organics, trading as Karma Cola in New Zealand

All Good Organics is a 100% Fairtrade company producing a range of three Fairtrade soft drinks, including Karma Cola, the first Fairtrade organic cola, Gingerella and Lemmy Lemonade. Karma Cola is an innovative product that for the first time gives an international profile to cola nut farmers in Sierra Leone.

· Fairest Fairtrader: Dr. Ananda Sarath Ranaweera of Sri Lanka

Dr. Ranaweera is a Fairtrade pioneer of Sri Lanka. In 1993 he set up Bio Foods (Pvt) Ltd, processing and exporting organic teas, spices, rice and other products. Facing the difficulties of Sri Lanka producers, in 1997 he also helped to create the Small Organic Farmers’ Association (SOFA) as a partner organization for Bio Foods. SOFA supports small farmers with both training in organic farming practices and purchasing their products. Bio Food became Fairtrade certified as exporter in 1997 and SOFA as small producer organization in 1998; this gave incredible improvements to the local agricultural system and to the social development of farmers, their families and the community.

Read the full article by Fairtrade International here.

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