Fair trade, forests and food security: a win–win situation? What can fair trade offer organized small farmers for improving food security? Experiences from the field: Tree Aid, Ragussi and ECOCERT, Burkina Faso Ludovic Conditamde, Tree Aid, Burkina Faso www.treeaid.org.uk TREE AID PERSPECTIVE TREE AID is not yet working in fair trade, but some moves in that direction include: Support to 428 non-timber forest products (NTFPs) entrepreneur groups in Burkina & Mali Assisting 5 631villagers (79% women) in marketing 27 NTFPs from 9 species & various nectar plants in Burkina Main weakness: lack of professional skills among producers, discouraging entrepreneurs from buying from villagers TREE AID PERSPECTIVE Average annual income/capita (Burkina) = $430 Average annual income/rural women (Burkina)= $60 Surplus income generated by VTE project per entrepreneur = $12 to $550 NTFPs contribution to household income = 3.94% for rich, but 90% for poor 4 types of possible groupings in Burkina & Mali for fair trade process: Grouping by product The geographical grouping Structuring per value chain Adherence to existing organizations RAGUSSI ASSOCIATION A women’s organization producing shea butter and by-products, created in Burkina Faso in 1994 for women’s empowerment Historical challenges: 1997-98 experience Lack of customers 17 tonnes of shea butter lost (Europe + credit) Ragussi Association closed between 1998 & 2003 because it was unable to repay loans Experience of Ragussi in Fair Trade Benefits Organic & fair trade labelling Conventional & organic shea butter (biokarité) certified by ECOCERT Main market: Occitane, France Occitane pays Ragussi 80% in advance Organic/fair trade shea butter: producers received double price of conventionally-marketed products Social premium = 10% of sales Cost of certification: Occitane provides a 3-year grant Support from local partners & project in Burkina as well as from international partners Experience of Ragussi in fair trade Benefits Better redistribution of revenues to 1660 members Training in natural regeneration of trees Shea butter waste used as combustible energy 20 compost pits developed Awareness-raising in AIDS & HIV testing for 200 women o Social projects developed using the social premium: A literacy teaching centre for women Daily lunch at women’s training courses Sponsored events o o o o o Experience of Ragussi in fair trade Key constraints and challenges o Resource not widely available o Shortage of financial resources to buy appropriate land, including shea trees o Disappointment at production capacity of shea tree: 5 kg required for 20 kg of raw produce Lessons learnt o Basic market research needed before adopting organic/fair trade models o Organic labelling should come first, followed by fair trade labelling Experience of Ragussi in fair trade Prospects /future plans o Extension of organiccertified zones o Finding new outlets o Developing new products o Decentralizing the production centre and building 3 others ECOCERT o ECOCERT is an independent company and an inspection and certification body of organic products founded in France in 1991 Views of ECOCERT on key challenges in Burkina o Many organizations involved in fair trade o Poor visibility and lack of the necessary resources to advertise products ECOCERT fair trade in Burkina Faso o A national platform to give visibility to fair trade for small organizations was created in 2010 o The EFT standard (ECOCERT Fair Trade) applies to food, cosmetics and textiles meeting both organic farming and fair trade criteria o Social, economic and environmental criteria are checked all along the value chain o Potential forest products to be traded under fair trade: shea butter, oil and pulp of the baobab tree (Adansonia digitata), oil of Balanites aegyptiaca o Potential zones for fair trade and buffer zones of protected forests Questions for discussion 1. What are the preconditions for adding value through fair trade by small and mediumsized forest enterprises, thus helping improve food security for local people? 2. What new forest products could fair trade promote? 3. What are the critical factors for privatesector and institutional support for fair trade in forest products by local small and medium-sized forest enterprises?