FENAPCOM - Federation Nationale pour la Production de Mangue
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.
Our producers need better prices for their products. They do not want to be victims of exploitation. They need encouragement. They need premiums which will give them a bonus at the end of the year. They need basic social services. This is why Fair Trade is their best opportunity. ”
Israel Louis, FENAPCOM Secretary General
Thank you for the premium that goes back to producers. We use these additional funds to purchase chickens and pigs which help provide food for our families and can be sold in markets if necessary. ”
Frances, FENAPCOM Treasurer
The Fair Trade premium I received in December made me very happy. I hope to receive it in the future. I will be a better member of my cooperative by participating more and giving them all of my production. ”
Eligé Elonicé, Member
Through collaboration with the nonprofit SOGESOL, the cooperative created a pilot credit program for producers. Many of the initial applicants were women.
Fair Trade premiums were used to reestablish a communal space which would serve as a place of leisure and community activity. Many community members say it will be perfect for cultural and religious dances during their annual festivities.
FENAPCOM used premiums to purchase important agricultural tools such as hoes, axes, shovels, rakes, tools for pruning and machetes. These tools will also help the cooperative reach its environmental and organic certification goals.