The Network of Asia and Pacific Producers currently has 16 Small Producer Organizations in Sri Lanka producing a wide array of Fairtrade certified products such as tea, coffee, cocoa, fresh fruits, herbs, and spices, among others. While the Hired Labour Plantations set up remains at high risk owing to the safety and well fare of thousands of workers and laborers, the small producers are utmostly vulnerable owing to the dependency of the farmer members on the organizations for their livelihood and income. The Fairtrade small producer organizations in Sri Lanka have taken up various disaster relief initiatives to support its farmer members and their communities to survive through the crisis.
In Sri Lanka, tea planting by smallholders is the source of employment for thousands whilst it is also the main form of livelihoods for tens of thousands of families. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed extreme challenges and uncertainty for the entire farming communities.
Marginalized Organic Producers’ Associations (MOPA); FLO ID 25759 a multi-product ( tea, cocoa, fresh fruit, spices etc) SPO in the region has approximately 2043 farmers and farmer families located in Kandy and Matale districts. Due to the restrictions in transportation and shut down of factories the farmers are currently unable to sell their produce. The organization has decided to support them by utilizing their premium amount to provide a package of essential food items to the farmer members families in need. They also intend to provide good quality face masks and essential medicines to families who are finding it difficult to obtain them from normal sources.Pics: Fairtrade Premium Relief by Marginalized Organic Producers’ Associations (MOPA); FLO ID 25759
Sustainable Agri Farm Enterprises Network (SAFENet), FLO ID 28356 a spice and coconut producer from the region has decided to provide each of their farmer families with a cash grant of LKR 5000 (Euro 23 ) to meet their essential food and medication needs, from the premium they have at their disposal. The members are instructed to maintain all relevant records of disbursements and bills/receipts, to ensure accountability and effective utilization of the premium funds.Pics: Premium relief by Sustainable Agri Farm Enterprises Network (SAFENet), FLO ID 28356
Seemasahitha Countrywide Wagakaruwange Samithiya; FLO ID 31491 another multi-product SPO (fresh fruit, coconut, and spice producer), has provided 462 relief packs to its smallholder farmer members.