Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • Ethical Shop launches direct market for global farmers

    Sep 28th, 2018

    Ethical Shop – the online retailer operated by New Internationalist magazine – has helped launch an initiative allowing growers in Africa and Latin America to sell directly to customers in the UK.

    The site is hosting Global Farmers’ Market in partnership with gebana, a German-based organisation which works to link social and ecological values to economic sustainability by supporting farmers in disadvantaged parts of the world.

    Gebana, which has its own fairtrade standards as well as meeting external accreditation, works with small-scale growers in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Togo, Benin and Greece to help families, the local economy and the environment.

    It works only with family farms, including a large number of co-operatives, such as coffee and Brazil nut growers in South America and cashew growers in Benin.

    Global Farmers’ Market will supply fresh oranges, dates and dried fruit, which is grown organically and delivered to the customer by land or sea. This year Ethical Shop are offering customers dried mango, almonds and cashew nuts which are in stock and ready to order.

    It is harder for organic farmers to get a fair price for their produce because they don’t use phytohormones to keep the ripe fruit on the trees for longer.

    This means they have a much shorter selling window and drastically reduced bargaining power. Ethical Shop says this leaves them at the mercy of unethical buyers, forcing them to sell at ruinously low prices.

    But gebana orange growers, such as Chrysoula and Christos Stergiou, are paid fairly and on time. “We would like to thank the gebana customers for buying our Greek produce,” they said. “In these difficult times in our country, this is very important to us.”

    Fethi Ben Khalifa, a 44-year-old date producer from the Derjine oasis in Tunisia, who supports his wife and two children on his half hectare of land, said: “I would wish all farmers in the region switch to organic cultivation. It would be nice if our dates became known across the world and were valued.”

    And Mohammed Ben Mabrouk, a 70-year-old date producer from the Derjine oasis in Tunisia, said: “Our dates are healthy, because they don’t contain any trace of chemical products.”