Co-op Group donates £50,000 to its Fairtrade producers hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

The Group, which has already contributed to Co-operatives UK’s disaster fund, is giving the money to help Fairtrade banana farmers

The Co-op Group has stepped up its support for countries hit by the recent Atlantic hurricanes, with a £50,000 donation to its Fairtrade farmers in the region.

This follows a £50,000 donation by the Group to the fund set up by Co-operatives UK and supported by Co-op News, to help the reconstruction of co-ops affected by storms and flooding in south Asia and the Caribbean.

On the Group’s blog pages, Fairtrade strategy manager Brad Hill wrote:  “As the recent hurricanes lashed the Caribbean, we have remained in contact with our Fairtrade banana and cocoa farmers in the Dominican Republic, to show them our support.

“As the hurricanes passed, and Oxfam assessed the damage, we agreed with our partners, The One Foundation, an immediate £50,000 donation from Co-op water sales to support the devastated regions in the north of the island.”

Related: Emergency appeal to support co-ops devastated by floods and hurricanes

The Group’s partnership with the One Foundation, which tackles water poverty around the world, sees it donate 3p from every bottle sold of its own-brand Fairbourne Spring Water and 1p from every litre of branded bottled water.

“The donation will address the immediate requirement to recover water provisions, sanitation and hygiene for the affected families of our three banana producer groups, as well as support 1500 families across the five regions most affected by the hurricanes,” added Mr Hill.

“While some 50% of the producers’ banana crops were wiped out, thankfully, our Fairtrade cocoa farmers, based on the south side of Dominican Republic, escaped the devastation.

“We continue to work with The One Foundation on targeting Co-op water generated donations into our own producers and this latest response builds on the previous £50,000 that our Co-op has committed to the Co-operatives UK wider disaster appeal.”

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