International aid agency Oxfam has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of $4.5 million to boost Fairtrade between small community producers in the Pacific and in Indonesia with regional and international markets.
Oxfam Australia Trading General Manager Julia Sumner said the investment highlighted the importance that trade plays in helping to lift people out of poverty.
“Through Fairtrade certification producers in the developing world are guaranteed fair and stable prices along with an additional sum of money in the Fairtrade premium,” Ms Sumner said.
“The premium is used for community development projects such as pump wells for clean drinking water and toilets, the building of local schools and providing training to farmers.”
One of the suppliers of Oxfam’s East Timor range of coffee is Cooperativa Cafe Timor, an organisation of 23,000 organic coffee farmers.
Cooperativa Cafe Timor have used their Fairtrade premium to run health programs and develop business skills by providing training in bookkeeping, management, English and computer literacy.
Cooperativa Cafe Timor Coffee Farmer Angela Maria Bosco said the fair and stable prices she receives through Fairtrade certification have improved her life.
“We have a minimum price we are paid,” Mrs Bosco said.
“I use the money to buy school books and other necessities for my children.”
Oxfam work with 136 fair trade and ethical producer partners in 38 countries around the world, including the Indo-Pacific region.
“We work to empower disadvantaged communities by paying them fair and stable prices for their work, helping them to gain the skills they need to develop their business and giving them access to world markets,” Ms Sumner said.
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