Fairtrade Covid-19 fund supports 500,000 farmers and their co-ops

The fund has been used to implement immediate health and safety measures and address economic recovery needs

A year on from launching a €15m (£13.02m) Covid-19 Relief and Resilience Fund, Fairtrade International announced that 500,000 farmers and agricultural workers have already benefited from the fund.

Jointly developed by Fairtrade International, its member organisations, and government and commercial partners, the fund delivers direct financial help to small-scale producers hard-hit by the pandemic. So far, it has supported more than 900 producer organisations from almost 60 countries.

 “The Covid-19 pandemic shook the very foundations of our global economic and social systems. But for farming and agricultural communities in vulnerable regions around the world, the impact of Covid-19 was especially devastating,” said Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o, global CEO at Fairtrade.

“By rolling out the Covid-19 Relief and Resilience Fund with our key partners, we have been able to ensure that farmers and agricultural workers in the Fairtrade community have the financial and health protections necessary to continue their valuable work, shield themselves from further systemic shocks caused by the pandemic, and build back fairer for a more sustainable and equitable future.”

The fund has been used to implement immediate health and safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and address economic recovery needs within affected producer organisations, including co-operatives.

Among those benefiting was the Coopérative Imgoun in southern Morocco, which used its funding to construct water wells and reservoirs using sustainable solar piping. This will expand the amount of land that can be irrigated, allowing them to increase and diversify production. The co-op was also able to launch a new website and ease the sales process by ensuring products are well promoted and accessible.

“We applaud the Fairtrade producers for their resilience in this difficult time and we are thrilled that they are investing their part of the Fairtrade Covid-19 Fund to build back fairer for a greener and more equitable future,” added Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o.

The fund was financially backed by, among others, the German Federal Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ), the German Development Corporation (GIZ), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the British Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) via the Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility (VSCF).