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FAIRTRADE PINEAPPLE GROWERS' GROUP

Pineapple cultivation in Thailand takes up about 1 million rai, or 160,000 hectares. and Thailand is also the world’s largest exporter of processed pineapples. Each year, about 400 million Euros worth of processed pineapples are exported.Pineapple cultivation takes place in 10 provinces. PrachuabKhiriKhan is one such province, which is also known as a very attractive place for sightseeing.

 

 

HuaHin, a resort town of Prachuab province, serves as the entrance to the south of Thailand.

 

Prachuabkirikhan cultivates pineapples in an area of 600,000 rai,which is the largest area in Thailand and produces 1.3 million tons/year. 90 percent of fresh pineapples are delivered to processing factories for export, while the rest is for domestic consumption.The pineapple industry in Thailand has grown over the years, despite the continuous problems which have affected cultivation, processing and marketing. Sometimes these problems cannot be solved by government departments.

 

Fair Trade Original (FTO) initiated a project to develop the pineapple industry in Thailand, by helping the producers get Fairtrade certified. This boosted the profile of Thai pineapples internationally, and has positively impacted on the marketability of Thai pineapples.


By FTO supported the formation of a group of pineapple farmers in Samroiyod district of Prachuabkhirikhan province. The objective was to encourage farmers to develop themselves and in future be self-reliant.

 

The group was registered on September 3, 2007 under the name. "Visahakit Pineapple Fairtrade Cooperative Group " the group’s members numbered only 20, but presently there are 63 members. The cultivated area is 8,500 rai and they produce 20,000 tons of pineapples.


In the future the group hopes to expand by increasing the number of members. Currently the group is manages by 15 board members, all of whom are elected from the groupmembers. The group’s chairman is Mr.ChanchaiThanakamonpradit.The group employs 2 management  offices, who are in charge of running the cooperative, conducting regular meetings and activities.The group’s objectives are to listen to the needs of the members and then implement social or economic development projects to serve such needs.

 

On September 22, 2008, the Group was certified by Fairtrade International (FLO) in Germany, in the production of pineapples and mangos.


Fair Trade aims to develop an opportunity for small producers to engage in trade, produce qualifiedproducts to international standard, and promote safety for consumers and the environment. Fair Trade also aim to encourage fair working conditions for farm labor. Through the guarantee of minimum price, Fair Trade hopes to support economic and social development in the group, which is democratically and transparently managed.The group’s members produce pineapples, following Fairtrade standards. The pineapples are then sent to the processor, which is also certified by Fairtrade International. The processed products include canned pineapple slices and pineapple juice, which are exported.The group also receives Fairtrade Premiums, which is paid by consumers. The Fairtrade Premium is beneficial to the group.The group uses the Premium for projects that promote social benefit, economic development and environmental conservation as follow;

 

Members development and organization

Training;

•    Provide training courses to improve knowledge and understanding of producers
•    Train group committee aboutrole and duty of committee in management
•    Training project to educate board members and regular members about the principles of Good Governance

 

Study tours;

•    Visit other Fair Trade organizations to study their production processes and management practices.

 

Production development based on quality standard and environmental standards

•    Create an environmental committee to oversee the environmental targets of the group

 

Training programs;
•    GAP practices
•    Educate for environment management about soil, water and chemical for using and safety and not damage to the environment.
•    Providing budget to members for construction of a chemical storage room in order to improve safety of users and environment
•    Reforestation project to increase greenery in the cultivation area, as well as replenishing coral reefs and mangrove areas.
•    Providing organic fertilizer to members to improve soil health and minimize soil deterioration
•    Educate farmers about alternative methods of plot preparation.  Instead of burning off dry stalks, farmers are encouraged to plough the dry stalks into the soil to increase organic matter in soil
•    To conserve agricultural water resources to ensure that water resources are not contaminated by chemicals.
•    Conduct soil tests to determine optimum usage of fertilizers, so as to reduce costs of production.

 

Marketing development; knowledge and understanding based on principles of Fairtrade
•    Provided marketing and product exporting workshop program, for members and officers
•    Participate in trade shows; both domestic and international to promote and extend the marketing channel and marketing opportunity


Social development and support
•    Donated funds for educational equipment, sports equipment, and lunch program for children with disabilities

Financial management
•    Set up a fund to help members secure loans for agricultural inputs. Provide necessary welfare for members and implement needs assessments to determine needs of the community
•    Financial planning that is beneficial to the group

 

Visahakit Pineapple Fairtrade Cooperative Group, has progressed continuously, with the high involvement of members who are knowledgeable, committed, and who are willing to sacrifice. These characteristics of members have been built by their mother organization.
Moreover,the members have very long experience in pineapple production.

Our group has grown because of the suitable area for production, which is allowing us to follow our objective and vision, and that is;

 

“to be good pineapple producers which has attained international quality standards, transparently managed under Fairtrade principles, better social development, utilize resources efficiently and conserve the environment”