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Screen_Shot_2014-12-16_at_5.21.11_PMCane farmers vote to share some Fairtrade money among themselves, but this is in contravention to Fairtrade regulations. That decision was made in a motion made on Sunday at the meeting where farmers also approved the agreement between BSI and BSCFA. Farmers motioned that 2.5 million dollars be divided equally between the over five thousand four hundred farmers. As we have mentioned, Fairtrade funds are not intended for this kind of spending and there may be repercussions. Chair of the Committee of Management Ezekiel Cansino and member of the committee Alfredo Ortega weighed in on the decision.

Ezekiel Cansino

“I am very concerned about that because knowing the standards of Fair Trade well we did had some precautions to us or we should have maybe stopped this motion but the general assembly voted for that and we will comply and even though maybe we will have some problems with Fair Trade.”


“But were you all able to comply with a motion even if it’s against the rules. Let’s say they take a resolution to burn down the cane fields, you can’t do that because it is other people’s property, am saying are you prepared to comply with something that manifestly against the rules of Fair Trade?”

Ezekiel Cansino

“Of course not, but then also the standards of Fair Trade we have that the cane farmers are the ones who decide what we will do with the money and so this is what happened today they decided to have 2.5 million to be shared amongst them.”

Alfredo Ortega

“We as the leaders we have to try to guide the process for the farmers to understand on what all is needed to be done and what is the expectation of the people that are out there that are buying our sugar under Fair Trade certification and what would want they see happen with the investment of those premium but not withstanding with that it is only the voice of us trying to guide the process but at the end of the situation it depends on what the farmers assimilate and what the decision of the farmers is being made.”


“Sir, you think they are making a big mistake going for the quick buck over sustainability of the industry?”


Alfredo Ortega

“Personally yes, I think we should think for the future rather than only thinking for today, having one plate of food for today I think we should be mature enough to think what we want for the future because as we can see the vulnerable group in the industry is the farmers and if we don’t take care of what we have or what we can get then that means that we are only misusing what we have in hand in which we could have taken out much more benefit and make better decision in the future.”

Notwithstanding the possible consequences, the motion was passed and the executive says that the money may be disbursed sometime this week.  it is important to note that the move can lead the association to fall into further noncompliance and consequently another suspension.

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