Another Naturland Fair-certified cooperative, AGROPIA, is situated in south west Peru. Its membership comprises around 90 families and its mission is to improve the quality of life of its members and their families in the long term by growing traditional varieties of potato. There are currently over 400 traditional potato varieties in Peru and AGROPIA is helping to preserve this important part of Peru's cultural heritage. Naturland Fair partner WeltPartner supports the cooperative by paying fair prices, providing a continuous sales outlet for their products and sustaining their diverse farm structures. Raising the profile of women, who make up 37 percent of their membership, and supporting them is also an important issue for AGROPIA. For example, various leadership roles within the cooperative are occupied by women.
The oil mill operated by Naturland Fair partner Serendipalm is situated in the east of Ghana. The mill procures its raw materials, palm oil and cocoa, exclusively from the 600+ regional organic smallholders in Asuom and the surrounding area. They also help these farmers to convert to organic farming and continuously improve their soil fertility and yields. Unlike in conventional palm oil production, no forests are cleared for cultivation and the trees are not grown in monocultures. The forest is a mixture of commercial and mixed woodland. Serendipalm is a reliable long-term buyer and pays its farmers fair prices.
Ethiopia's Kaffa region is situated in the south-west of the country. This is where, in the depths of the thick mountain rainforest, the unique wild coffee variety of the same name grows. Local smallholders pick it by hand and often travel long distances in order to harvest a particular area of the forest. The coffee is harvested in harmony with the delicate ecosystem, with no trees or bushes being cut back. The commitment of Naturland Fair partner Original Food means that the smallholders can make a decent living from their work while preserving their livelihood. Original Food started the development project in 2003 and the region is now one of the world's first UNESCO biosphere reserves for coffee.
Naturland Fair partners in Germany such as the Berchtesgadener Land Dairy, the Hofpfisterei Bakery, BIOPILZHOF GmbH and the Seck Winery all support farmers by paying fair prices and they also get involved in a variety of regional projects. Family smallholdings are the pillars of our society. They breathe life into our cultivated landscapes, promote biodiversity and create sustainable regional economies. Certified Naturland Fair products such as milk, dairy produce, cold meats, eggs, baked goods, wine, fruit, vegetables and Christmas trees are all sourced in Germany, often directly from the farm.
In the Palestinian West Bank, Naturland Fair partner Canaan Fair Trade is working with the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA) to revive sustainable farming practices in this disadvantaged region. The PFTA advises, trains and supports smallholders in the region that want to convert to organic farming. The Naturland Fair premiums also help to provide funding for various projects such as the creation of new women's cooperatives, scholarships for children from smallholder families and a "Trees for Life" programme. Just under 60,000 olive trees have been planted to enable young farmers to get into the olive oil market, regenerate the groves that were damaged by the Middle East conflict and forge an economic basis for the next generation.
In Sri Lanka, Naturland Fair partner Serendipol processes coconuts to create a high-quality and intensely flavoured coconut oil. The coconuts are grown organically and harvested by around 1300 farmers. The complex task of processing is then carried out by over 180 experienced Serendipol employees. Serendipol guarantees its workers secure employment, a fair wage and fair premiums. This has made it possible for them to back initiatives such as building schools, improving the local health service and securing electricity supplies.
Our tea producers in India are supported by our Naturland Fair partner Tea Promoters India (TPI). TPI owns eight tea gardens in the tea-growing regions of Darjeeling, Assam, Dooars and Kerala. Its core values include equality and employee participation. The workers and tea pickers are represented in a joint committee alongside the management team and can weigh in on decisions about social measures. Thirty years ago, Naturland worked with GEPA and TPI to establish the first certified organic tea garden in Darjeeling. Empowering smallholders is also a priority for Naturland Fair partner PDS Organic Spices when it comes to its wide range of activities. The organisation sees strengthening village communities, especially indigenous groups and women, as its core mission.
Panay, one of the islands that makes up the Philippines, is home to a sugar mill operated by the Naturland Fair-certified cooperative Panay Fair Trade Center (PFTC). The cooperative has been supporting smallholders who produce organic muscovado sugar since 1991. The origins of the organisation are closely linked to the Philippine women's rights movement. As a result, the PFTC is very politically active. It promotes the interests of rural smallholders and gives women a voice. In addition to providing training, it also offers humane working conditions with a secure income that's both regular and fair.
Austria is home to the Naturland Fair partner Schalk Mühle. The Styria-based company is a big believer in collaborating with regional suppliers and it procures its raw materials from small Naturland farms. Its work is centred around fair, long-term relationships with its farmers and a social commitment to its employees.
Situated on Turkey's Black Sea Coast, Naturland Fair partner IŞIK Tarim supports around 3500 smallholders in 150 village communities who work together as neighbours, just like in the olden days, as part of the "Happy Village Project". They grow hazelnuts and fruit, like apricots, using organic farming methods. IŞIK Tarim provides their farmers with self-made organic compost free of charge in order to improve their soil fertility in the long term. In addition to the harvest workers and their families, around 900 mostly female employees also benefit from fair trade by working in the processing plants. The organic produce is purchased directly by Naturland Fair partner WeltPartner. This plays a vital role in maintaining Turkey's traditional small-scale farm structures and prevents people from migrating away from rural areas.
Tuscany-based La Selva is a farm business and delicatessen that creates good long-term working conditions not only in farming, but also in processing and administration roles. As a Naturland Fair partner, La Selva also gets involved in school projects and promotes organic farming in the local area by working with universities. Further to the east of Italy, Naturland Fair partner TerraBio is nestled between the Adriatic coast and the Apennine mountain range. In addition to paying farmers a fair price, the TerraBio cooperative also donates produce to local and regional projects.