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The Fair Trade Impact: Community and Social Development in Action!
With the holidays around the corner, I think it is a great time to remind ourselves why Fair Trade is important and the benefit that it has to small scale farmers in developing countries. As an example of this, I wanted to share some photos that we just received from our Fair Trade supplier of Bananas, BOS, in Peru.
As a cooperative of organic farmers, BOS understands the importance of protecting the environment and the soil for long-term environmental, social, and economic sustainability. These first photos illustrate an environmental awareness campaign that BOS did with all the schools in the community. Each student made a poster with messages related to the environment (with all recycled materials) and marched through the community (In the Salitral district) to promote awareness of environmental issues.
The next set of photos are from BOS’s summer school program. In Peru most children don't have access to programs that keep them engaged in learning through their summer break. Through Fair Trade, BOS has been able to provide activities, workshops and classes for the children in the community during their summer vacations (January - March). BOS hired school teachers and gave each child a t-shirt and a bag filled with notebooks, pencils, crayons, and other school supplies.
This strikes a cord with me because I had the opportunity to volunteer doing art programs with children when I was in Ecuador, and it was magical to see how delighted the children became from simple things that we take for granted as children, such as pencil crayons and coloring books.
Lastly, in Peru publically funded health services are quite poor and most Peruvians don’t have access to basic health care, let alone dental care. With the Fair Trade Social premiums, BOS provides medical services for its workers, which, as you can see below, includes dental care.
"The Fair Trade movement is growing as people realize that they can help alleviate poverty and protect the environment by choosing Fair Trade products."
-- Robert Alan