On February 12, 2022, 15 youth from 03 Fairtrade Certified Sugar Producer Organisations (SPOs) : Dama Farm Workers Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Maria Cecilia Farm Workers Association (MACFAWA) Inc., Pandanon Integrated Balangon Farm Workers Association Inc, held a meeting to discuss common issues and challenges faced by youth in the Agri -sector and drafted a concept note for running awareness campaigns for Fairtrade in the local schools and communities.
The youths leading the Project are a part of the Fairtrade NAPP’s next generation of leaders in partnership with the European Union.
The Workshop included the presentation of the concept draft by Pandanon Integrated Balangon Farm Workers Association Inc , its consultation with Fairtrade NAPP and the SPO leaders followed by an exposure visit to the community of Dama Farm Workers Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (DAFWARBA).
One of the key issues identified was the lack of interest among the young people in agriculture as well as limited understanding of the important role of farmers in the building of a sustainable future for all.
Post the workshop the group explored the community of a Fairtrade sugar producer organization of DAFWARBA where they visited the houses of the members, the Youth Inclusive Community-Based Monitoring and Remediation Project led by SPO Youth monitors, sugarcane farm, rice mill, and the recreational park developed by the SPO for the community at the height of the pandemic.
The activity became a platform for the youth core group to express their ideas, and opinions, to appreciate and recognize how Fairtrade can bring inspiration and positive change to farmers, their families, workers, and the community.
They plan to organize more interactive programs with other sugarcane SPOs in Negros Occidental and hopefully cover all the Fairtrade communities in the Philippines. The program will be organized to motivate and inspire youth to contribute to a world free of injustice with a sustainable income for marginalized farmers and young people leading the promotion and development of the agricultural sector in the Philippines.
The youth leading the campaign are seen as feeling more confident to engage and lead SPO activities for promoting and creating awareness of Fairtrade concepts and principles.