NATURLAND FAIR RESEARCH WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF BUJUMBURA / BURUNDI AND UNIVERSITY OF FORESTRY ROTTENBURG
Since 2014, Naturland has been supporting the COCOCA coffee cooperative association in its conversion to organic coffee cultivation in agroforestry systems. In close cooperation with WeltPartner eG, a 1-year research project was dedicated to the study of family household situations and the search for action strategies to close the gap between real household income and a livelihood-securing family income in 2022.
Naturland Fair Trade certification gives small farmers in currently twenty very different countries of the world access to fair trade relations and guaranteed long-term above-average prices. In addition, fair trade jointly promotes local development. In countries and regions of the world such as Burundi, which are classified as LDCs by the DAC (www.oecd.org) or, according to Rosling (2019), have a development level of 4 in the "Factfulness" global statistics (gapminder.org), it is important to create food security for the population. Here, even when connected to a fair trade supply chain, there is a large gap between the locally measurable level of a living income (Anker, 2006) and the income actually achieved.
RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, NORTH AND SOUTH
Naturland sees fair trade as a valuable instrument, especially in such regions, to improve living conditions gradually and locally. In the future, Naturland's six fair trade standards are to integrate the goal of Living Income, whereby the design of the standard supplement is to be developed with Burundian research partners and farmers.
In the project "Living Income: Sufficient family income through agroforestry systems, fair trade and organic farming in Burundi", conventional trade and fair trade as well as other factors are compared in their influence on the "Revenu Vitale". In addition to fair trade, other social and economic factors of influence are also on the agenda. Especially where income cannot be increased quickly and significantly, the influence of typical and "hidden" costs that reduce the household income of farming families must also come into focus. The findings obtained so far from qualitative and quantitative surveys in spring and summer 2022 show that such factors as transport costs, health costs and education costs eat up and prevent family incomes.
FAIR FOR SCIENCE - FAMILY INCOME, FORMAL AND INFORMAL ECONOMY, LIVING INCOME
In Naturland farms all over the world, formal and informal economies are closely intertwined. In contrast to contractual employment relationships with a fixed monthly income from an industrial employer, seasonal work and parallel paid and unpaid sideline activities are the practice in most families in smallholder agriculture.
The calculation of consumption for a good life is also highly context-dependent and culturally conditioned. Within the exciting discussion on the Living Income target in the fair trade community and academia, Naturland Fair is positioning itself in research on the main question: What strategies help smallholder families to close the Living Income gap worldwide in those regions where families and smallholder households live in precarious conditions and struggle for food security?
The research is based on data of premium use of Naturland Fair Trade Premium certified members worldwide, international Living Income research literature and data, texts and tools from the ALIGN project site of the Living Income Community of Practice (ww.align-tool.com) for measuring Living Income /Revenu Vita.
Duration: 2022-2023 (1 year)
Project partners: Université de Bujumbura, Rottenburg University of Applied Forest Sciences