The continuous rise in the number of COVID19 cases across the globe has sparked ongoing worries about a shortage of food and medical supplies. With the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the virus, Fairtrade producers in Pakistan, Philippines, and Vietnam have taken adequate measures to support its farmers and workers by making use of resources available at its disposal.
Talon Sports Pvt Ltd -FLO ID 1629 a sports ball producer organization in Pakistan, has produced 20,000 face masks from their surplus organic cotton. The initiative was taken up by their Fairtrade Premium Committee. Face masks with Fairtrade logo were distributed among their workers, staff and the general public to prevent the spread of infections in the vicinity.
‘’ I request all the workers to please make use of the mask, maintain social distancing and wash hands regularly’’– Mr Nayur Farooq- President of Fairtrade Premium Committee, Talon Sports Pvt Ltd
South Asian Sourcing Pvt Ltd.: FLO ID 35535 a cotton producer in Pakistan prepared short awareness videos with their in-house resources and started a digital awareness campaign. The videos were largely circulated across the country to amplify the message.
‘’The current crisis that the world has entered into is of great concern. We must act as one nation and move forward as one world. Watch out for the food and living conditions of those in need and extend your support ‘’– Umair Bajwa- Director
Dama Farm Workers Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association; FLO ID 29041 sugarcane producer in the Philippines had started a Fairtrade premium project on rice production, as an additional source of income for its farmers and members. A better income means more money to buy food and save for the rainy days. This gives farmers more control over their lives when times are hard, worry less about how they will feed their families and be able to provide enough food for the people they care about, all year round.
Due to the current lockdown leading to scarcity of food provisions in the market the SPO decided not to sell the produce and distribute it as a subsidy to support its farmer members. The members were also provided sessions on preventive measures for their well being and safety.
”Everyone needs to be aware of the negative effects of COVID19 on their heath and businesses and take appropriate measures. We need to build our immunity through proper nourishment. Social distancing is another important step to avoid getting infected. This is a very difficult time for us, our community is very small and we cannot avoid having small neighborhood discussion but we have to do our best. During bountiful days we forget to be grateful and pray. Now is the time to pray and seek forgiveness, hope for the best, be prepared for the worst and stand strong for our families. The fear of disease also affects our mental health. It’s wrong to think we might get infected while working in the field, instead, we need to be vigilant and take proper precautions. We have to continue working in the field, finish harvesting our canes, our rice farming and pruning of mahogany trees. These are the only source of our income. We should continue to pay salaries to our members and ensure we are prepared as an organization. Our resources might be limited but our will to survive this outbreak is stronger. We will stand together as a community and overcome this calamity’‘- Daniel Diamante- Chairperson, Dama Farm Workers Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association.
In Vietnam Eatu Fair Services and Agricultural co-operative; FLO ID 33762 carried out an awareness training to educate their farmers on the safety and health precautions to be observed during the crisis. Informative posters were displayed in and around the surrounding areas. The program was initiated as a part of Fairtrade premium activity.
The different measures taken by the producers to support its farmers and workers are commendable. Every initiative taken by the organization can aid in providing a morale boost to them during the crisis.