Update on Fairtrade producers in Haiti

20 January 2010

FLO would like to extend its sympathy to Haiti and the countless number of people who have been impacted by this appalling natural disaster. The earthquake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale and is the worst earthquake to hit the region in more than a hundred years.  

News from Fairtrade producers in Haiti

FLO’s current and former Liaison Officers in Haiti are both based in Port-au-Prince and we have received word that they and their immediate families are alive and well.  However, conditions are nevertheless extremely difficult and the whole of Port-au-Prince is very unsafe.

So far it seems that the south of Haiti (where some of the producers are located) has been badly affected by the earthquake, while the north was largely unaffected.  There are increasing numbers of producers replying to FLO’s calls and emails, many of whom are sadly reporting losses of life of their relatives and families in Port-au-Prince.

Support from Dominican Republic

The earthquake was felt in the Dominican Republic, but there are no reports of damage by Fairtrade producers there.

FLO’s Liaison Officer in the Dominican Republic contacted the country’s Fairtrade certified producers, all of whom offered their support.  Fairtrade producers in the Dominican Republic have set up a commission and come up with a joint action plan to organize help for their colleagues in Haiti.  Non-Fairtrade producers are also contributing funds.

They are hoping to send supplies (e.g. medication, water, food) by truck. However, difficulties in crossing the border may mean that there are delays in getting this help to Haiti. Trucks are not currently able to get into the country, so in the meantime the commission will be looking at alternatives and assessing the situation on a daily basis. The Dominican Republic producers have expressed their determination to help in any way possible.

Support from FLO and Fairtrade for Haiti

FLO is very concerned about the situation in Haiti.  Since food and water are the primary needs at the moment, we encourage anyone concerned to donate to relief efforts, including at the following links: The United Nations World Food Programme and UNICEF.

FLO will continue monitor the situation of our producers and staff in Haiti and update this space as news arrives.

For all press inquiries, please contact:
Laura Zonka, Media Relations Manager: +49 228 949 23 282, l.zonka@fairtrade.net
Reykia Fick, External Relations Coordinator: +49 228 949 2314, r.fick@fairtrade.net


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