The Federation for Mango Production and Commercialization (FENAPCOM) is a cooperative composed of several smaller mango farming cooperatives in rural Haiti. Although the challenges in Haiti are great—education, cholera, lack of electricity, unemployment, and agricultural assistance—mangoes have shown sustainable development potential as a high-value fruit for export markets. FENAPCOM’s trials as an organization reflect those of its individual members. Many cooperative members cannot afford to wait for fair prices to feed their family, and are forced to sell their harvest to informal traders offering immediate payment at prices much below the market value. When FENAPCOM farmers received the first Fair Trade premiums, they recognized the opportunity to break this cycle. The mangos sold are also known as Francis mangos and are unique to Haiti. Famous for their juicy, richly-flavored flesh and sweet, aromatic scent, these mangos have helped give hope to struggling Haitians, particularly after the earthquake. These fruits are available during a limited period of the year and their harvest season lasts only two weeks. Many of the farmers only own one or two mango trees and the annual mango harvest will represent a large portion of their cash income for the entire year. Since the formation of the cooperative, farmers have been better able to organize themselves into groups so that can sell more directly and at fixed prices. Moreover, in a country plagued by illiteracy, where democratic institutions and processes are almost nonexistent, FENAPCOM faces organizational challenges due to the lack of skilled leadership availability. Unlike other market-based development initiatives, Fair Trade’s emphasis on transparency and accountability makes it a vehicle for democratic cultural change. FENAPCOM members can take ownership of their futures by strengthening their organization and building direct, long-term partnerships with buyers.
Number of Members: