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3 Mar 2016
Fairtrade farmers, workers, traders and supporters who are driving change in their own communities were among those honoured at the second International Fairtrade Awards in Berlin tonight.
The coffee cooperative COCAFCAL from Honduras, the tea growers of Sukambizi Association Trust from Malawi, and the Small Organic Farmers’ Association (SOFA) from Sri Lanka won the awards for small-scale farmers who have successfully organized themselves to enhance their communities’ livelihoods.
Fairtrade farmers and workers who decide democratically how to spend the Fairtrade Premium – the extra money paid on top of the selling price – are at the heart of the global Fairtrade system. The second awards category honoured Fairtrade Premium Committees that have taken innovative decisions on the use of premium money and fostered their communities' development. The winners were the Colombian workers’ organization Fundación de Trabajadores de Comercio Justo de Urabá (FUNTRAJUSTO), the United Nilgiri Tea Estates Company from India and the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union from Ethiopia.
“This is a great recognition of our joint achievements. We use the Fairtrade Premium to tackle our communities’ most pressing problems,“ said Fredys Cuesta García of FUNTRAJUSTO, accepting the award on behalf of his fellow workers. “The award now encourages us to keep on working towards our vision of making our whole region a better place to live.”
But it’s not only farmers and workers to be honoured at the International Fairtrade Awards. “Tonight we’re here to celebrate the diversity of all the people involved in Fairtrade,” said Greg Brown, Chief Operations Officer at Fairtrade International. “We’re proud to showcase how farmers, workers, consumers and companies can all work together to make trade fairer.”
The Global Trader Award recognized the outstanding achievements of the UK-based company Zaytoun CIC in building sustainable supply chains and recognizing the needs of small-scale farmers in the Palestinian Territories.
Bijumon Kurian, President of Manarcadu Cooperative in India, and board member of the Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP), took the fourth and final award for the Biggest Fairtrade Fan which was chosen by the public in an online vote.
Almost 100 groups and individuals applied or were nominated for the International Fairtrade Awards. The eight winners were selected by an international panel of sustainability experts nominated by the Fairtrade producer networks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
German Actress Anke Engelke hosted the event in Berlin, held jointly with Fairtrade Germany who celebrated their 5th Fairtrade Awards, honouring manufacturers, retail companies, civil society groups, and a special winner chosen by the public.
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