Beyond Aid: New Video Highlights Impact of Fair Trade in Haiti
This post comes to us from our very own Hannah Freeman, Director of Produce & Floral Business Development.
On a recent trip to Haiti, a Fair Trade farmer told us that farmers who live far from the road were cutting down their mango trees in order to make charcoal to sell. They needed the cash in order to put food on the table, and they didn’t have a market for their mangos. This farmer went on to say that now that he sees how the Fair Trade program is growing with Whole Foods Market, and that he would tell these farmers to stop cutting down the trees and to deliver their mangos to the Fair Trade cooperative.
Haiti holds the unfortunate title of the hemisphere’s poorest nation. It is also 98 percent deforested. The rich soils that once produced abundance are slowly washing into the Caribbean, killing coral reefs and devastating fish populations.
Haiti also produces, in my opinion, the most delicious mangos available in the U.S. market today. These Fair Trade Certified™ mangos are addressing the inextricable problems of poverty and environmental degradation—returning twice the money to farmers as they would otherwise receive from the local middleman, while also providing an incentive to plant more trees.
Check out this video that Whole Foods Market put together during our trip to Haiti in February. Mango season is coming to a close, so check your local Whole Foods Market and get them while they last! If you miss the season, grab a Fair Trade pineapple or banana and look forward to the Haitian mangos again next April.