Six years ago cocoa farmers from Kavokiva (Coopérative Agricole Kavokiva de Daloa) became Fair Trade Certified ™ and started selling their crop at Fair Trade prices. As part of doing business on Fair Trade terms, Kavokiva also began to receive the social premium payments unique to Fair Trade certification. You already know that Fair Trade Certified promises a fair price - Fair Trade also guarantees an additional, modest percentage of profits are invested in the cooperative’s communal account - the social premium . Cooperative members vote on how to best put those funds to work to benefit the whole community. Build a school? Dig a safe drinking water well? Pay for childcare? Provide pre-natal care?
Kavokiva cocoa cooperative members vote consistently to use premium dollars to pay for free or affordable health care for local families. Their choices are saving lives.
Most cocoa-growing communities like Côte d’Ivoire ’s Kavokiva are located in remote rural areas with horrible roads and little or no access to even basic health care services. Before Fair Trade, if you were sick and needed to see a doctor you had to walk 10 kilometers to the nearest clinic. Results were tragic. An average of 30 farmers died each year from lack of medical care after they contracted otherwise treatable diseases (hernia, infection, or others). Kavokiva used Fair Trade earnings to build a small health clinic for community members - complete with a four person medical staff and ambulance. This small but mighty clinic performs an average of 36 life-saving operations every year.
Cooperative member Mr. Kouakou says with profound gratitude, “Without Fair Trade or the medical center, I would not be here today. I had an accident and was sick and the clinic helped me.”
Would you like to get involved this holiday season? Donations to Fair Trade USA support our work to extend Fair Trade benefits to new cooperatives and communities like Kavokiva. You can share your commitment to Fair Trade with a friend or loved one by giving a virtual Gift of Fairness in their name. Passionate about community health? Click here to “Give a Doctor a Clinic ” or “Provide a Mother with Pre-Natal Care .”