Six Women, Two Distributors, One Fair Trade Grower's Project
How Wholesum Harvest Demonstrates the Value of Fair Trade
Most consumers know that Fair Trade Certified™ produce helps to empower farmers and farm workers, but true understanding of Fair Trade – and the difference it makes in the lives of farmers and workers around the world – comes from seeing it in person. Wholesome Harvest, a Fair Trade produce grower in Mexico, knows this better than anyone, which is why they invited members of two organic produce distributors, Veritable Vegetable and Organically Grown Company, to work alongside a local team on a Fair Trade Premium project in Los Janos, Mexico.
Fair Trade in Action
The goal of the project—funded by Fair Trade premiums, which are funds for community development generated from every sale of Fair Trade produce – was to renovate a community school where 80% of students are children of Wholesum workers. A total of six women from Veritable Vegetable and Organically Grown Company built unique earthen patio walls, cleaned and painted a new kitchen area, and created a new computer lab by framing an interior wall, hanging sheetrock and painting. These improvements ensure that the children of Wholesum workers can learn in a safe facility equipped modern educational tools while their parents work.
Building a Better Community
The school project is just one of many on which Wholesum Harvest workers have elected to use their Fair Trade Premiums. The worker community at Wholesum Harvest has also voted to provide loans for home ownership, staff an onsite medic clinic, purchase buses to get kids to school safely and build a tortilleria, a soccer field, and a park.
The volunteers from Veritable Vegetable and Organically Grown Company enjoyed seeing how the Fair Trade premiums generated by their purchases empowered the Los Janos community. More importantly, they gained a broader understanding and appreciation for the many benefits of Fair Trade certification, including whistle-blower protection, a safe work environment, additional income for community investment, access to clean water, healthcare and childcare, and education.
"It was so incredible to see Fair Trade in action," said Tonya Haworth of Organically Grown. "From the school kitchen we worked on to the democratic way the funds are voted on by workers, Fair Trade is making a lasting difference in the Los Janos community."
These benefits make a profound difference in the lives of workers and inspire Wholesum Harvest, Veritable Vegetable and Organically Grown Company to deepen their commitment to Fair Trade each year. Supporting the Los Janos community provided an excellent opportunity to share the importance of Fair Trade certification and to support and honor those who grow and harvest our food