Traidcraft - November 2018

Sugar

This month I want to tell you a little bit about sugar production in Mauritius. Sugar production in Mauritius is very different to the early days of Traidcraftand has had to adapt to the changing global market for sugar.  Ex- colonial countries like Mauritius had preferential agreements with the EU for many years. This has now come to an end and also the global market for sugar consumption is being challenged.

Production on Mauritius has reduced and the prices earned are much lower. The focus is now on speciality, premium priced sugars. Many small farmers have stopped trading in sugar altogether and much of that land lies fallow or has been sold for housing.

The farmers who signed up to be Fairtrade certified ,however, have benefitted from some great entrepreneurial co-operatives. On the south coast is the Surinam Souillac Co-Operative Credit Society which has invested heavily in training the farmers to learn about alternative crops which will flourish, to increase productivity and to be concerned about the environment. They also want to make a difference to their community through education and providing for the poorer members of their society.

In the North of the island, another co-operative…L’Esperance Co-operative Credit Society…have chosen to invest in crop diversification. They have managed to build a nursery with the help from Fairtrade and they have aneven more creative project…to build a tourist beach lodge!!13

Some of you may have seen the news that Traidcraft will cease trading by the end of 2018. This is a direct quote from their announcement…

“Traidcraft plc, the Fairtrade pioneers whose church-based retailers have transformed shopping in the UK, subject to consultation, could cease trading by the end of 2018 unless a solution can be found in the coming month. The plc, which generates £10m in annual sales was founded by six people in Newcastle in 1979. It’s now in formal consultation with staff and other stakeholders following recent poor trading figures. The business has experienced shocks caused by the decision to leave the EU, and along with other retailers, sales have been hit by economic uncertainty and stagnating wages.”

I will let you know more when we hear the details.

Our annual Traidcraft Christmas Fayre is on Thursday November 15th in the Porch Room from 10am – 3.30pm. Please come along and support Traidcraft.

Our next Traidcraft stall is on Sunday November 25th after the 10am service in the Porch Room.

Jackie Natt 01453 731018.