8 Dec 2021
‘We are not the same we used to be’ – the Farmers documentary series finale is here.
In the midst of a global crisis, the series followed three farmers across the globe. The intimate portraits revealed that, beyond COVID-19, several of the battles farmers fighting today are not – in fact - pandemic-bound.
Throughout 2021, teams of local film makers across Indonesia, Peru and Kenya have followed three Fairtrade farmers for an in-depth and unscripted documentary series: Farmers. The episodes follow the lives of Ponisih, Roberto and Caroline.
The films are intimate portraits about what it means to be a farmer in the midst of a global crisis. In other words, who are the people behind the data sets we hear about in the news when new cases are reported. Often forgotten, and yet crucial to our day-to-day, farmers had to carry on working during the pandemic, adjusting to a new reality while still facing other underlying challenges.
In fact, the series reveals that beyond COVID-19, several of the uphill struggles farmers are facing today are not necessarily pandemic-bound. From not being able to earn a living if you carry on doing what you love, to the effects of climate change on crops, and even potentially losing a new generation of farmers altogether.
If you do not know where to start, here is a guide to who each characters is and their personal battles. We promise, no spoilers.
Juan Roberto Gallo - La Noria, Peru
Roberto is a banana farmer, local radio host, family man, and friend. He wears many hats, but is above all, a pillar of strength to a community which often goes overlooked. Living in a region hard hit by the pandemic and economic inequalities, his resilience is crucial.
Watch this episode if you are interested in: farmers and living income, how the banana market works, remote communities in Latin America coping with COVID-19, tales of resilience and hustling, family dynamics.
Caroline Rono - Setek, Kenya
In a community that favors tradition, Caroline is an avid coffee farmer who speaks up openly about her personal struggles, even if they are considered taboo. And yet, it is also in this community where she finds other open hearts and support. Because times change.
Watch this episode if you are interested in: gender equality, entrepreneurship, climate change, motherhood and taboos, access to healthcare, coffee farming, religion and traditions in Kenya.
Ponisih – Java, Indonesia
Ponisih lives a community at the intersection of breaking traditions and keeping a legacy. After being in the city for several years, it is clear to her she is happier being a coconut sugar farmer, and helping others in her community embrace this. Yet, the next generation might have other plans.
Watch it if you are interested in: the impact of the Delta wave, efforts to get communities vaccinated, generational differences, innovation in communities, traditional dances and customs in Java.
If you would like to learn more about each protagonist, their cooperatives, regions and film teams behind, visit the official documentary website.
The documentary series now comes to an end, but the journey of Roberto, Ponisih and Caroline carries on.
This documentary and the activities are partly funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
For more information about Fairtrade activities on COVID-19 relief and resilience, visit Fairtrade's COVID-19 Hub.