Peter Paul and FairTSA

Community Development

2016 - 2020

   Producers are at the heart of FairTSA Fair Trade certification. Together through community development projects and capacity building we are helping to directly impact the agricultural communities that grow and process our food. 

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   Founded in 1946, Peter Paul Philippine Corporation is a producer of coconut products based in Sorsogon, Philippines. They source coconuts from 1,500 farmers working 10,000 hectares of land throughout the southern tip of Luzon, the Philippines main island. Since 2016 they have been collaborating with FairTSA on yearly community development and infrastructure projects.  

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Coconut Farming in the Philippines 

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   Over a third of the of Philippines working population is in some way involved in the coconut industry which produces on average 15.344 billion nuts per year. Despite this nearly ubiquitous involvement, it is still difficult for many farmers to earn a steady living growing coconut, with around 60% living below or around the poverty line1. This problem stems from expensive transportation costs, unpredictable market price fluctuations, and many layers of middlemen which create situations where exploitation can occur. FairTSA Fair Trade certification aims to alleviate these problems with a standard, above market level price, paid to farmers for their coconuts. FairTSAʼs certification also includes mandatory infrastructure projects aimed at providing farmers more economic power and independence, as well as a wider safety net against potentially debilitating natural disasters and price drops. 

2016 Seedling Project 

   One project of high priority for the Sorsogon farmers has been the replanting of coconut seedlings to better ensure future generations will have the means of producing organic, high quality coconuts. For this project, seed nuts were selected from the best mother trees in certified organic coconut farms, with approximately 11,000 seedlings on close to 70 hectares being replanted. To secure the success of the replanting program, the seedlings are checked every third month until their viability is secured after about a year. The farmers who successfully care for their plants are rewarded with small incentives. 

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2017 School Tuition Project 

   A second project consists of granting deserving students of the farmer group financial subsidies to attend high school. It was based on a needs assessment among the farmers and expresses their strong desire for a thorough education for their children. A competitive exam was given to determine the qualifiers. So far, 62 students have been selected and supported. A third project has been to establish a “calamity fund” to support members that are hit by natural disasters. The part of Luzon where Sorgoson is located is frequently hit by typhoons. Setting aside 5% of the annual FairTrade premium for such scenarios will allow for emergency relief. 

2018- Farmer semonars 

   For 2018, a project to improve the farmers financial literacy was decided on. It consisted of training facilitators leading two workshops for about 100 farmers each. Included in the workshops was a focus to achieve financial competence and efficiency in planning and managing growing operations, but also included useful practices such as intercropping of various helpful crops. Included in the large scale workshops for the farmers assembly were meals and transportation.  

2019- Farmer Seminars Expanded 

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   This year training sessions were held in Leadership, Management Skills, and Financial Literacy. These training sessions help improve efficiency, productivity, quantity and quality performance in their line of growing and production. This is to strengthen the internal controls for project management and project spending and performance and communication. The attendees were provided with transportation and meals.  

2020- Coronavirus Aid, Counseling and Health Education 

   The year of 2020 forced many FairTSA projects to adapt, and this year’s project for Peter Paul included. It was decided to provide hygiene kits and dry food staples for the families in the community, including PPE and vitamins. Additionally, later in the year lectures about birth control, parenting guidance, marriage counselling, and healthcare was provided to the community.