On World Fair Trade Day, Fairtrade International announces the launch of a “Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund” and establishment of a “Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund” in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The two funding mechanisms, for the three producer Networks, are intended to meet the immediate needs of farmers, workers, and their communities, while also establishing a foundation for long-term economic recovery.
Currently, Fairtrade International along with the Network of Asia Pacific Producers is in the process of distributing the Fairtrade Producer Relief fund of 750,000 EUR to 294 producer groups in Asia and Pacific region to mitigate the impact of COVID 19. The funds can be utilised by the producer groups based on the need assessment done as per the activities enlisted below:
Types of Activities for which funds can be utilised:
- Health and Food Safety
- Buying protective equipment (masks, gloves, disinfectant, other Personal Protective Equipment)
- Food and other essentials – Procure and distribute local produce to the most vulnerable in our system thereby helping both the producer and consumer.
- Improving production capacity
- Buying seeds/planting material and distributing to members.
- Setting up local food security initiatives/vegetable gardens (e.g. seed purchases, tools, etc.).
- Certification fee Subsidy
- Payment of certification fees/audits costs in 2020
- Awareness programs
- Awareness-raising and training for farmers and workers – particularly targeting vulnerable groups (elderly, women, children, migrant workers .It is mandatory that all necessary precautions as per government guidelines are met during the training).
This fund will be utilised by the producers before the end of 2020. As on date, NAPP has received 150 applications and 130 applicants have already received the funding and in the process of implementing the program.
While the Relief Fund targets the immediate needs, it is clear that the pandemic will also have an extreme effect on the global supply chain and trade worldwide, the impact likely to be felt in the next planting/harvest season. In the second phase “Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund” will be established to meet the long-term needs of producers as they begin to look at life after COVID-19. For this fund, NAPP will collect proposals from the producer organizations across Asia Pacific, and priority will be given to the countries which have not secured any external donor fund for COVID relief.
External Donor funds secured by NAPP producers:
We are also happy to announce that SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs), Switzerland has signed off the support to Fairtrade Covid-19 interventions along with Max Havelaar Switzerland. NAPP will be receiving a fund of 150,000 CH. Since Central Asia is a part of Switzerland’s strategic developmental focus, an allocation of 50,000 CHF will be reserved for the countries Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan
The balance amount 100,000 CHF will be allocated to 01 Project from China and 05 Projects from India
NAPP will, in turn, administer and manage the distribution, monitoring, and impact of the funds to Fairtrade certified producer organizations on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. These funding opportunities for the Fairtrade producers and workers will help the producers to remain in business and maintain their operations during this crisis.