Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance

Collaborative Excellence and Accountability
June 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We hope that you are staying healthy and keeping your spirits up in these strange times of the pandemic. We are still all working from home and see each other only on team video conferences. Nevertheless, we are grateful for being healthy and to continue our work while enjoying the beginning of summer in Upstate New York.

On a somber note, we received news from our friends at Tropic Essences in Nicaragua. The situation being as difficult as it is, they were robbed in a hold-up by a gang of bandits. As we described in the April 2019 newsletter, they work with about 60 smallholder families in the uplands. As there is no access to banks, the chia seed is paid directly in cash, which means the truck that picks up the chia is accompanied by a trusted person who carries the cash. While on a dirt road in the mountains, the vehicle was held up, shot at, and the bandits disappeared with $60,000. That is a lot of money for Tropic Essences and jeopardizes the future of the operation. 

They are now working on safer methods to distribute the cash, but at the same time need to make up for the loss. Therefore, we decided to do something we’ve never done before: initiate a crowdfunding project. All proceeds from the effort will go directly to Tropic Essences to help them survive and keep supporting the small holder families in the uplands. We invite you to look at the GoFundMe website, and if your situation allows, consider contributing to the effort of supporting Tropic Essences.

May you all stay healthy and safe!

For the FairTSA Team
Winfried Fuchshofen
Tropic Essences

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Our partners at Tropic Essences

Click here to find out how you can help the company survive and support farmer families in the uplands of Nicaragua.

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FairTSA stands in solidarity with
Black Lives Matter

The events that evolved all over the world in the past weeks remind us of the inequalities and the prejudice that black people and people of color experience in their daily lives. True to our mission, we share a collective commitment to a society in which all public officials are held accountable for advancing the well-being of the people they serve, while recognizing it is our responsibility to keep pushing for a system of racial justice that consistently upholds human dignity and equity.

Community Development - Purple Hills Agro Exports
Purple Hills is a FairTSA producer certified since 2017, operating in India and producing banana, mango, papaya, and pomegranate. For their first Community Development Project, they used their funds to support their fledgling school. The Inba Seva Sangam (ISS ) is a 45 year old NGO , started by a famous Belgian lady called Lea Provo back in the late 1960's. Mother Lea, as she was fondly called was greatly inspired in her life’s work by Gandhi and her European mentor Shanthidas. ISS has been primarily working in the field of social upliftment of the weaker sections of the population in Kadavur Taluk of Karur District in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

The programming looks after the education and well-being of the farmers’ children, providing housing at the higher secondary school level. Further, there is a strong component of social outreach programs in nearly 50 villages around Sevapur, where the ISS works with farmers in their transition to ecologically sustainable Biodynamic methods of farming, with local schools in raising environmental awareness, starting Eco Clubs and women's self-help groups. The ISS also has its own five hectare Demeter certified farm in Sevapur, where fruits, coconuts and vegetables are grown for use in the kitchen of the resident 300 children in the two homes. The school offers a residential two year Diploma certificate course in Biodynamic and organic farming, with an emphasis on all-around development and employability of the students. It is a two-year residential program. The long term plan for this Biodynamic farming training facility is to be able to train around 1,000 youngsters in the next 15-20 years for the Biodynamic movement to take firm roots in Tamil Nadu. This vision will help heal the land and keep it in good health while enabling the farmers to grow higher quality fruit with less chemical industrial inputs. The School has seven students in the first batch, four girls and three boys. A lot of counseling and motivational talks are given regularly, so that the seven students develop a positive relationship to their work and themselves. The course aims to give the students practical skills needed for modern day farming in India, with an emphasis on “learning by doing”.
Most of the Purple Hills employees in the mango project are temporary day workers, who are travelling to come apply Biodynamic preparations and harvest when it is time. For 2018, the Community Development Project was aimed to improve the villages of these workers from farther afield. Discussions were held with the three village schools to identify the children’s needs. This included tables and benches, a water purifier and water storage tanks, cupboards to hold supplies, television and DVD players for class, and a school announcement system. These primary infrastructure additions have made the schools better suited to support the teachers and their students' education.

In 2019 it was decided to build new toilets for these same villages of seasonal workers. This will help improve the sanitation and hygiene of the village and in turn make life more convenient and hygienic for people living there. For 2020 Purple Hills plans to have running water added in the schools. This will help children have their basic needs at their school premises. Having good facilities at school is a good motivation for parents to send their children to study, improving their opportunities for their future.

We look forward to more exemplary projects from Purple Hills in the future!  

New FairTSA Licensee

Located in Stuttgart, Baden- Württemberg , Germany, Flores Farm is a trader for sustainably produced raw materials. In January 2006, the company was founded after the owners financed the processing and distribution of premium cashews in the Indonesian Island of Flores, greatly helping struggling farmers find a market for their product. Other projects have followed, making it possible for more farmers to sell their crops and provide a brighter future for their local communities.
Our Newest FairTSA Producers

C.I La Samaria S.A.S - (Colombia) - Bananas

Worga Naturals - (Sri Lanka) - Various Fruit

Cooperating Certifiers
Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance
 | 518-794-0286 |
wfuchshofen@fairtsa.org | fairtsa.org