First off, what is Fairtrade?
The 7th March marked the end of one of our favourite times of the year – Fairtrade Fortnight. Fairtrade began in the 1980s in response to the struggles faced by Mexican coffee farmers following the collapse of world coffee prices. In 1992, the UK branch of Fairtrade – The Fairtrade Foundation – was founded. Across 2020 UK shoppers helped generate $41 million in Fairtrade Premiums for Fairtrade communities.
So, what does Fairtrade Premium actually mean?
Fairtrade Premiums are made up of two halves. The first is that we pay a guaranteed minimum price per tonne of quinoa that we buy in Peru. Around $2600, compared to the current market price of around $2000. On top of this, we then pay a 10% premium of $260.
This means that if the market is not doing as well as usual, our farmers are still guaranteed a minimum price, even if the pre-premium price is above market price. And it guarantees a minimum wage for the farmers. Something which doesn’t currently exist in much of the agricultural world at the moment.
At Quinola, we recently passed a significant milestone within the company. Naturally, we wanted to share the amazing news. As of March 2021, with the arrival of our most recent shipment of quinoa from Peru, the total Fairtrade premiums we have paid over and above the market price will slam through the $300,000 mark since the company’s inception. An incredible amount of additional income for farmers who often live on $5000 a year.
One key aspect of Fairtrade Premium is the idea of TRADE not AID. It is up to the farmers to decide what they do with the extra money earnt. It is for them to choose in their communities where they put the money. The only condition is that 30% of the premium must go on environmental projects. Beyond this, it is all within the famers control. They are the ones who really know where the money can benefit them and their communities most.
The Impact of Fairtrade Premiums in 2020
This premium has been particularly important over the last 12 months as many farmers have faced unforeseen hardships due to the pandemic, extreme rains disrupting seed planting and less work available in other industries. Many farmers work second jobs outside of harvest seasons to supplement their income and due to the pandemic, this has not been possible for much of the last year.
We are incredibly proud of this achievement and are proud to to be able to help the deserving and hardworking farmers to a slightly better life.
To learn more head to: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
To learn about our Generous Revolution CLICK HERE.