Evaluation and baseline research with small producer organizations producing Fairtrade sugar: Belize country report
Published: 3 Jun 2022
RMI Services Ltd. (RMI) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) conducted research to measure the impact of Fairtrade certification and other Fairtrade interventions on sugar production by small-scale farmers in Belize. Using a multi-strategy research design, using both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, the researchers employed Fairtrade’s Theory of Change as a guiding framework to assess the extent to which these interventions contributed towards the anticipated outputs, outcomes and impacts in Belize. These were measured and observed across various themes including social, agronomic and environmental, and economic.
The study identified strengths that the farmers’ associations experienced in organizational development, farmers’ empowerment, and working conditions. The Fairtrade Premium has played a critical role in limiting the impact of price fluctuations or turbulence within the industry by contributing to the farmers’ direct survival through cash payments and through the supply of farm inputs. The structure of global sugar pricing limits producers' room for price negotiation. Combined with turbulent markets and sales fluctuations, these findings also point to the need to continue to build markets for Fairtrade sugarcane, including other than as a food product.