Trat Fairtrade Pineapple Farmers Group was established with 41 members. Located in the eastern region of Thailand the group produces fresh pineapple which is then processed into juice and canned products at a processing facility and exported to Europe. Due to Covid 19 pandemic, the processing facility was shut down and the members had to start transporting to another factory approx. 540 km away from the organization adding subsequently to their production cost.
Though there is a huge demand in the export market for Fairtrade pineapple juice and canned product, the producers struggle to supply the product, owing to the disruption in the supply chain post-COVID. After harvesting the farmers manually load the pineapple into the farm vehicle and drive to the factory. The grading and sorting take place at the factory and they get paid based on the pineapple size. The fruits that are damaged by animals, insects, diseases, and spoiled are rejected.
With the long distance to the new factory, the farmers need to carefully sort out and grade the pineapple before loading it for transport to maximize their profit. With the resilience funding support, the farmers have invested in a fruit grading machine to help minimize the transportation cost by delivering only good quality and proper sized pineapple to the factory while the remaining small-sized fruits are sold in the local market.
The farmers pay a small fee to Trat Fairtrade Pineapple Farmers Group for using the machine and the income earned by the grading service will be spent on the machine maintenance, operation worker wage, and saving in the Producer Groups account.
The project funding will help the farmers to improve the quality control system and management, and minimize the production cost by transporting 100% good quality and size for processing to the factory. This will set up a sustainable supply chain and farmers ( 40 member farmers as direct beneficiaries and 250 farmers as indirect beneficiaries) can earn a decent livelihood.