Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This September we encourage all Canadians to look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when buying coffee and tea. Making the ethical choice for your daily caffeine fix can make a significant difference in the lives of farmers and workers in countries around the world.
Fairtrade certified coffee and tea can be found in most major grocery stores and specialty retailers. Many neighbourhood cafés serve Fairtrade as well, but if your favourite spot doesn’t, make sure to tell them what Fairtrade means to you, and ask them to ensure a fair deal for the farmers and workers at the source of their products.
Monicah Muthoni Maina – a tea grower at Gacharage Tea Factory, Kenya.
Monicah is one out of approximately 5,000 tea farmers and members of Gacharage Tea Factory north of Nairobi in Kenya. Here the farmers own their own land, harvest and pluck their own tea and deliver it to collection centers before the tea is eventually processed into black tea in the large factory close to Mununga village. The factory is owned jointly by the farmers through a loan which they took in 2000 with the purpose of increasing production, raising the value of their product and generating higher revenues through better access to an international market.
In 2006, the farmers chose to certify their production according to international Fairtrade standards in order to achieve a better economic, social and environmental development both within the production and at the community level. Over the past few years, the farmers have chosen to invest their Fairtrade Premiums in training on sustainable production, road improvements, electricity, water supply, new classrooms, school material, scholarships to students and a number of income generating projects.