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Women of fair trade

The women who grow and make your fair trade products are the voices for change in their communities. Below are just a few examples.


Meet Shirley de Guzman

Shirley, an entrepreneur in Catanauan, Philippines, was able to buy her shop through a low-interest loan program made possible by Fair Trade Community Development Funds. Her store has become the center of the community. With a second loan, Shirley built a coconut buying station where her fellow fair trade farmers can market their coconuts directly to processing facilities, cutting out middlemen and enabling them to earn a higher price. Because of her business success, Shirley has been able to move to a larger home and create a better life for her husband and seven children.

Meet Isabel Uriate

Isabel is a leader of Café Femenino, an all-female coffee growing group, which runs programs that aim to empower women coffee farmers in the community and supports them in growing and selling their coffee. "The purpose of Cafe Femenino is to make visible the contributions women make, not only to the household economy, but to the community," she says. "It aids in providing women the same opportunities and respect. In doing so, women gain confidence, status, are protected from marginalization and motivates them to develop new ventures. Fair trade is vital for our success. It allows us to provide rural coffee growers a steady price that sets a solid base for economic budgeting at the family and community level."

Meet Sumoti Gorh

Sumoti picks tea at the Maud Tea Estate in Assam, India. "With all the material and financial support provided to our community of workers through Fair Trade Community Development Funds, we feel a sense of ownership through our work," she says. "I hope that those that drink our tea can feel the value of such tea and continue to support our work and the environment."

Meet Rose Marie Ostin

Rose Marie is a mango farmer in Domatino, Haiti. "I am proud because I can help my family and friends," she says. "As a part of the fair trade program, I was trained and now know how to run my own business. I have a guaranteed income and my children receive proper education. I love this work so much that I started a group that makes sure mango trees are being planted and taken care of. I have seven children, but feel I am the mother of many in this community, and I am happy to be able to help others." Continue reading about Rose Marie and Haitian mangoes here.

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Our monthly newsletter tells stories of your dollars at work in the lives of farmers, workers, and fishermen of fair trade.

Transfair USA (DBA Fair Trade USA, Tax ID: 41-1848081) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Your donation is deductible to the full extent allowed by law. To learn how to get more involved, contact development@fairtradeusa.org.