A GROUP of Papua New Guinean cocoa farmers have received Fairtrade certification, with its first shipment to be used for Cadbury Dairy Milk in Australia and New Zealand. Club 3000 incorporates 629 passionate farmers from the Madang Province, spread over 275 kilometres and six remote communities and was founded by Monpi Cocoa Exports of Madang in 2011. The partnership has resulted in improved quality and productivity, opening the door to international markets.
Club 3000’s Fairtrade certification means that the farmer group meets Fairtrade Standards for participation, transparency, environmental and social performance. Club 3000 has a long-term capacity building partnership with Fairtrade, with support from Fairtrade ANZ’s Producer Development Fund through the New Zealand Aid Programme, and an initial one year contribution from Mondelez. This project provides an agricultural subsidy program for Club 3000 members, as well as trainings on business skills, recordkeeping, and farm management, to ensure the group is built on a strong foundation for long-term success.
“With the support of Monpi Cocoa, Club 3000 farmers are working together to improve their livelihoods by strengthening their business skills and focusing on quality and productivity. Their efforts embody the values of Fairtrade, and it’s our great pleasure to welcome them into the Fairtrade system” said Rachel Levine, producer support officer at Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.
The group plans to produce 120 metric tonnes of Fairtrade Certified cocoa in 2014, which will generate US $24,000 in Fairtrade Premium to be used for economic, social and environmental development projects to benefit the farmers, their families and their communities. Initial plans include restocking abandoned aid posts with medical supplies, and building and furnishing local elementary schools.