As well as using Fairtrade Premium to distribute relief packages to the more vulnerable, Fairtrade producer organisations are instigating sanitisation and prevention campaigns to keep their wider communities safe, whilst working to keep producing the food and products we love.
Innovative use of equipment to sanitise public spaces
The Cooperativa Agrícola Vitivinícola Loncomilla, a Fairtrade wine and grapes producer, located in the Maule region in Chile, created an alliance with the municipality of San Javier to use its tractors and personnel to carry out communal sanitation operations on streets, pavements and homes. The co-operative hopes that this measure, benefiting local families around the community, will help to prevent the virus from spreading.
Viñedos Emiliana, a Fairtrade certified hired labour organisation, in the Chilean city of Valparaíso is carrying out a similar initiative in one of the communities where the vineyard workers live.
Freddy Rodriguez Cantillo, from the Fairtrade certified Coobamag banana co-operative in Colombia, explained a similar initiative taking place at his co-op: ‘Together with the Municipal Volunteer Fire Department, we devised a plan to clean and disinfect public spaces in the town where we are located, as well as the processing plants of each farm and the roads and small villages around. We donated 400 litres of hypochlorite bleach to the fire department.’
The co-operative’s manager and assistants have also been tasked with giving talks at each farm about prevention and protection measures, and guidance has been issued to the farm workers, fruit transport contractors and pallet suppliers.
Establishing extra sanitisation stations
Measures in public spaces are considered to be of utmost importance in El Salvador. The co-operative ATAISI, who produce coffee and sugar, supported the establishment of new handwashing stations and an entrance barrier where they sanitise passersby and vehicles entering the local towns of San Isidro and Colonia Llano Grande.
Koperasi Kopi Wanita Gayo, the first women coffee co-operative of South East Asia distributed eight portable sinks to six villages in Bener Meriah Regency, where the women farmers reside. The portable sinks are also set up in their two processing units to ensure everyone follows hygiene at the workplace.
Banana worker washing her hands during the COVID-19 pandemic working at Cooperativa Multiactiva de Bananeros del Magdalena
Raising awareness through education campaigns
Fairtrade rice producers at Sisaket Creative Farming Network (SCFN) in Thailand developed fun and educative sessions for elderly women, a high-risk group. The women in turn are playing an active role in raising awareness among their families and communities. They also stitched more than 250 protective masks to distribute among hospital staff, members of the producer organisation, temple monks and the local villages.
Koperasi Produsen Bersama Kita Mandiri Sejahtera (Bahtera), a coffee producer in Indonesia, have also carried out educational campaigns to spread awareness on COVID-19 among their members in 16 villages that are located in Bener Meriah Regency, Aceh Province of Indonesia.
ECAMOM cocoa co-operative in the southwest of Côte d’Ivoire reproduced posters from the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene and distributed them to its members. They also visited 11 sections of the co-op to raise awareness, ensuring material was available in local languages and to make donations.