UK Cooperative Group Visits BSCFA - Affirms their Impact in Cane Farmer Communities through FT Premiums

BSCFA’s Youth Inclusive Community Based Monitoring and Remediation Program (YICBMR) in collaboration with Fairtrade International is a new inclusive methodology which brings together adults, children and youth to have a say in the way they can make a difference to make their communities safer for them and their children. This program has attracted the attention of Mr. Brad Hill, Fairtrade Strategy Manager from The Co-operative Group of the UK. In the month of November, 2016, he visited Belize to acquaint himself with the work being done by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, such as their programmes and projects supported with the premium received from sales of Fairtrade sugar. He was also accompanied by Mrs. Julia Clark, Head of Sugar Ethics from Tate & Lyle Sugars/ASR Group. Brad expressed pleasure to see that through YICBMR focus group sessions, various community projects have been implemented. He interacted with the families of children and youth, and the youth themselves who expressed much gratitude for the assistance they have received from BSCFA supporting them to go back to primary school, high school or other vocational studies. Giving these youth a second chance at building a brighter future for themselves was the highlight of his trip.

He was also able to appreciate the sustainability of the projects from the partnerships of BSCFA and Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College which are opening new areas where future assistance to youth that are unable to formally attend college will learn the basic agricultural best practices useful for their future. During his visit, Brad was also able to comprehend how some successful alternative income generation projects for women have significantly impacted the life of both of these women and their families helping to ensure their children remain in school.

The Co-operative Group has many retail stores in UK, being the first retailers to sell only Fairtrade sugar. The Co-operative, as being expressed by Mr. Brad Hill, is committed to supporting sugar farmers in Belize especially in these challenging times.

Contributor: Zune Canche

“The members and customers of Co-op in the UK are always keen to hear how making Fairtrade purchases supports farmers and workers. Because we sell only Fairtrade sugar, I wanted to be able to see for myself the work in Belize and be able to tell people back home the difference Fairtrade is making . I met some wonderful people and heard some fantastic stories during my visit to Belize and I was very impressed with the work that BSCFA are doing, particularly with youth empowerment and alternative income generation projects. We will keep telling the farmer and community stories and hope to inspire our customers to buy even more Fairtrade sugar. Thank you to all at BSCFA for your hospitality during my visit and showing me the power of Fairtrade on communities and on farmers. Keep up with the great work!” - Brad Hill

Posted on June 12, 2017 .