Latin American Producers Hold Bi-Annual Meeting

07 December 2010

In early November, over 150 participants from Latin America and observers from around the world attended the Bi-annual Assembly of Members of the Latin American Coordinator of Fairtrade Producers (CLAC) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

After a cordial welcome by the small producers from Honduras, Yvette Aguilar, El Salvador’s official Rapporteur to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a presentation on the projected impacts of climate change on agriculture. Many of the attendees echoed the concerns as they struggle to cope and adapt their methods to a changing world. (Fairtrade producers were recently in Cancun for the Climate Days event. Read more here.)

CLAC represents small producers from throughout Latin America and comprises networks of producers representing Fairtrade certified products, including honey, coffee, cocoa, fruits and juices, and bananas. During the assembly, the networks held individual sessions to discuss challenges and opportunities they face.

Other topics covered included gender awareness and the establishment of a new effort to promote small producer products alongside the Fairtrade system.

The assembly also held votes for the new board. Merlin Preza, General Manager at PRODECOOP, a cooperative in Nicaragua, was elected president of the CLAC and Marike de Peña of BANELINO in the Dominican Republic was elected vice president. Other board members include Secretary Carlos Eugenio Vargas of COOPETRABASUR in Costa Rica; Treasurer Marvin Lopez Garcia of APODIP in Guatemala, Fiscal Abel Fernandez of CONACADO in the Dominican Republic; and First Vocal Nelson Guerra of COPROCAEL in Honduras.

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