Our first blog post highlighted what vanilla is, but now it’s time for us to talk about something a lot more interesting, and something that you may have seen spoken about regularly on our Instagram page! This is about the idea of ‘Fairtrade’.
Vanillabazaar is Fairtrade certified by the Fairtrade Foundation in the US assicated with FLOCERT. But what does that mean? Being a Fairtrade company essentially means that as a company we make sure the farmers receive a fair price for their product through a process of paying a Fairtrade premium. The trade that we do is about allowing farmers and workers to take control of their lives! We support farmers to improve their crop yield, meaning that “farmers can earn more from what they produce!” You can find out more about what it means to be Fairtade company here: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
This premium rate is beneficial in a number of ways, nut the main purpose is to support the farmers in our supply chain, There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farms worldwide, many of which are connected to agricultural supply chains, with many of those farmers struggling with poverty"!!
Our business supports farmers amnd processors in what is a labour-intensive process which requires hand pollination, caring for the pods as they grow on the vines over months, sun-drying and care of the pods for over 9 months, and manual sorting of the pods. An added benefit is full traceability of the pods back to the consolidator and farmer.
An example of other benefits from the Fairtrade Foundation, is the increased opportunities that women have at work, and in education! For example, in Cote D’Ivoire there aren't many job opportunities for women as cocoa farmers, and looking after their families means that they don’t always have a great deal of time for much else!
Fairtrade, in partnership with Compass Group UK & Ireland and the Co-op, set up the Women’s School of Leadership to give women the confidence and skills to be able to set up businesses, and be leaders in cocoa cooperatives in their local communities! How amazing is that! This programme has been around for just under 4 years now, with the very first group ever giving 19 women and 3 men training! So, although this project supports lots of women, mainly, men are able to join too!
Want to read more on this amazing project?? Visit the website here! https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/media-centre/blog/opportunity-for-women-in-west-africa-in-the-womens-school-of-leadership/
We are so proud to be a Fairtrade company, and believe in everything that Fairtrade stands for.
Look out for this logo on any products that you may buy (not just ours!), and you’ll know that you are getting only the best quality stuff! (Image from https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/what-is-fairtrade/using-the-fairtrade-mark/ )