Collaborative Excellence and Accountability
Dear Friends and Colleagues,  

Life is full of surprises, and the outcome of our recent U.S. elections was certainly one of them. We all must come to grips with the results, and we at FairTSA are strengthening our resolve to contribute to a just, verdant and sustainable future for all.

This fall I went on my now regular autumn trip to Europe to visit some of our friends and partners. While that meant missing some of this year's especially vibrant Indian Summer, I did enjoy my visits to Lucy Bee, north of London, La Maison du Coco in Rueil-Malmaison, near Paris, and Voelkel GmbH in Pevestorf, Germany. New projects were discussed, existing ones reviewed, and strategic issues explored. At the same time my colleagues Osiris Abrego and Jake Makin went to the Dominican Republic to conduct inspector trainings and a producer seminar. Check out Jake's brief article below.

We are very happy to welcome our new licensees and producers!

Please note that we will send out a producer-only newsletter shortly.

For the FairTSA Team
Winfried Fuchshofen

Biodynamics at Biotropic SRL

Third from right - Our trainer Osiris Abrego Plata 
with staff from Biotropic SRL & Kiwa BCS
Our Producer Relations Manager Jake Makin and our Spanish Trainer, Osiris Abrego Plata recently returned from the Dominican Republic, where they did onsite visits and inspections to our producers at 
Clarke's Organics and Biotropic SRL. In addition, Osiris did a  training for our organic certifier Kiwa BCS.

In this article we will highlight the exciting new developments at Biotropic. They have been busy improving their banana plantation outside the city of Mao, implementing biodynamic processes to strengthen their farm and the local ecology. BioTropic has integrated an Ecological Center on 5 hectares of their farm, promoting biodiversity through practice and educational outreach. This project started when they discovered some rare plant species on  their land as they began to move out of the city to this new centralized location. The projects ambition grew from there.

In addition to propagating the rare plant species, the project took  on goals of creating a water purification system, a greenhouse, and  a diverse garden system fertilized by animals. They have 
successfully set up an integrated biodynamic garden to act as a  testament and teaching tool for local high school and university  students, to understand the value and importance of biodynamics. 

Fieldtrips to the BioTropic farm walk you through the beautiful grounds along the pond, through banana forests, over footbridges crossing the stream, and past wandering flocks of fowl. Students are taught to respect nature in its variety. They are shown how natural fertilizer is made, and how the different systems benefit from one another's diversity. Reeds and herbaceous papyrus are used as a natural filter for the running water. Sweet potatoes, pineapple, and citrus can be found growing among the bananas. Across from the large compost piles are solar panels and a wind turbine.

Overall the developments at Biotropic foster respect for the land, sustainable farm practices, and education for future generations to come. At FairTSA we are proud to collaborate with companies committed to the ideals of biodiversity, sustainability and Fair Trade. Thank you BioTropic!

**Before we were ready to send out the newsletter, we received word that Biotropic's banana plantation had been flooded. The Dominican Government has called a state of emergency for several areas in the North of the island. It has been raining for weeks and the banana harvest at Finca Villa Lobo is currently reduced to 15% of its normal volume. With over two weeks of strong rain now, the Yaque del Norte river has flooded parts of the plantation and the actual loss of plants and soil cannot be estimated until the water has subsided.

New Licensee Partners

Raab Vitalfood GmbH
Fratelli Damiano, our first licensee in Italy. Based in Torrenova, Damiano is a family business that cares about the environment, sustainability and transparency. They provide certified organic foods with stringent quality control, fair prices and attentive customer service.
Raab Vitalfood GmbH, based in Rohrbach, Germany. Since 1989 Raab has stood for the highest organic quality in their products. Their first successes started with Whey, Himalayan Salt & Goji Berries, and their product range continues to grow.
Écoidées Sarl
Holistic Sweden AB
Écoidées Sarl, based in Soultz-sous-Forêts, France. A company that values human and sustainable partnerships with employees and their customers. They provide high quality products sourced from pure raw materials from many countries around the world.
Holistic Sweden AB, based in Motala, Sweden. Known for educating the public on a holistic approach to diet, health and balanced living, Holistic Sweden offers quality products and customer service, integrating knowledge and inspiration every step of the way.  

New Producer Partners

Based in Villagran, Gto., Greenhouse produces and exports quality organic produce.Their approach is based on respect for people, the environment and continually evaluating and improving their operations.This naturally fosters leadership among their workers and customer satisfaction.
Rose de Sable was founded in January 2007 by the Belaifa family, from the region of Nafta, Tunisia. Farmers and producers of dates for over two centuries, Rose de Sable maintains a very close collaboration with their farmers, providing them with expertise and guidance, thus producing a variety of quality organic dates.