Fair Trade USA is proud to announce that our partner, Beneficio Santa Rosa, has been awarded the prestigious “Presidential Award for Exporters” for 2013. Awarded by the President of Honduras, Beneficio has been recognized for their creativity, quality, and innovation in the international marketplace.
The criteria for the Presidential Award, one of the highest honors in the Honduran coffee community, cover things like export volume, export growth rate, economic stability, innovation, job creation, and economic, social, and environmental programs.
Beneficio Santa Rosa not only exports coffee for Fair Trade Certified cooperatives in Honduras, they also serve as the Market Access Partner  for a group of independent smallholders participating in Fair Trade USA’s coffee pilot project .
As a celebrated exporter in the region, Beneficio Santa Rosa  (BSR) is one of the first groups to help bring Fair Trade to independent, small-scale farmers in Latin America. This innovation was a key point of recognition for the group. Fair Trade USA is working closely with BSR to help 140 of these farmers meet the Fair Trade standards and earn certification. For the first time, these isolated producers, who traditionally sell their coffee to intermediaries, are now working together to export as a group, earn higher prices, implement sustainable farming practices, and invest in the future of their families and communities.
In one of their training programs, individuals learned best practices for water use in coffee processing. Since then water pollution has reduced significantly, benefiting farmers and their communities. They have also helped producers eliminate harmful chemicals, and are training them to use protective gear.
In addition, the farmers are now working together with BSR and Fair Trade USA to improve coffee quality by processing as a group in a new wet mill they recently acquired.
We congratulate Beneficio Santa Rosa for their exceptional work in coffee, and for supporting Fair Trade cooperatives as well as new groups of independent farmers to begin their journey toward social and environmental sustainability. As stated by the Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, this honor bestowed upon BSR is not only a reward, but it also serves to “encourage others to do the same.”