The Jiangxi WuYuan Xitou Tea Farmers Association in China’s Jiangxi province reflects the transition of a society from governmental control to democratic processes and market economy. WuYuan Xitou was registered with Fairtrade in 2004. Since then, the Fair Trade system, standards and process has helped the WuYuan Xitou tea farmers in their progress toward the democratization of their local economy and government. Once state-owned, WuYuan Xitou’s ten tea gardens are now owned by individual farmers who have collectively assembled to make up the farmers association. Three of the tea gardens are collectively owned but individually managed. For example, one garden belongs to the area’s middle school and is rented to a single tea farmer who manages it independently. As a global network, Fair Trade plays a key role in providing training that helps producers improve their business operations so they can be competitive in complex, international markets. The tea farmers have invested funds from their Fair Trade premium in technical assistance to continually improve the farmers' capacity to produce quality tea. Collectively, WuYuan Xitou Tea Farmers Association has utilized Fair Trade's unique market approach to foster new relationships with buyers from around the world, ultimately providing a better income for the farmers and their families.
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