Workers throughout the region generally face low wages, lack of access to medical care, and limited access to education. CEPIBO chose to become Fair Trade Certified in order to improve workers’ standard of living and give their children the opportunity to continue their education. Since becoming Fair Trade Certified, members have seen significant change in their lives. The majority of members’ children now finish high school, whereas, before, most were illiterate. CEPIBO is now focusing on the business skills of their members in order to continue growth and development. CEPIBO believes investing in its people is key to success in the future, hence why CEPIBO not only funds training programs for workers, but also invests in the education and health for the entire community.
Leadership and Entrepreneurial Training
Fair Trade premiums have helped CEPIBO invest in members of their community through several training and education programs. One such program focused on entrepreneurship and starting small businesses, equipping producers, workers and their children with essential skills to become successful leaders and businesspeople in their community. With the additional support of Fair Trade premiums, two small businesses have already taken off in the community. These two businesses, an organic fertilizer company and a local input store, allow local farmers to access products needed on their farms without being subject to market fluctuations.
Packaging Centers Improve Production
In total, Fair Trade premiums have helped CEPIBO construct 10 packaging centers. Recently, assembly cables have been installed at the Amboa, Appbosa, Peña and Oréa collection centers relieving workers of extra packaging steps while reducing total production costs and ensuring a higher quality product.
Stove for Community Church
CEPIBO continued to invest in the commuity by providing the local church a small gas furnace.