10 years' experience in trimmed and washed peas & beans from Guatemalan smallholders for high-end markets
FairFruit Guatemala is located in Antigua Guatemala
and works with approximately 1500 smallholder farmers that are organized in farmer
organizations (cooperatives and associations). The company provides technical
assistance and training to these farmers, and pre-finances agricultural inputs
such as seed, fertilizers and pesticides. In its packing plant the company
employs up to 300 workers, mainly women. Vegetables are graded, trimmed, washed
and packed for export.
Guatemalan farm Fairtrade USA certified
In September 2013, FairFruit Guatemala’s own 12ha nucleus farm received Fair Trade USA certification. Although 90% of the volume exported by FairFruit comes from smallholder groups, the farm is important for supply maintenance when weather conditions hamper smallholder production. The farm has also served as a centre for experimentation and extension. The Fairtrade premium is destined for a better housing’ project.
Continued support to smallholder farmers through NGO ADISAGUA
FairFruit Guatemala is increasing efforts to train and certify farmers through ADISAGUA, which offers a wide range of services in management support and institutional reinforcement. Collaboration with the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy and other donors has provided funding for the construction of 3 local processing facilities with 2 more following in 2014. ADISAGUA’s budget was $250.000 in 2013 of which $60.000 was funded by FairFruit Guatemala.
Proportion of certified farmers keeps growing
So far 8 producer groups have succeeded in obtaining Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) certification, covering about 100ha. Farmer groups received in total $95.000 above conventional payments. The number of GLOBALG.A.P. certified farmers went up from 247 to 499 in 2014, covering about 120ha. A ‘better price’ policy was introduced for food safety certification.
FairFruit Guatemala has been experimenting with new processing, packing and transporting protocols in order to improve product quality upon arrival. Improved temperature control and new packing protocols have made it possible to reduce the percentage of product graded out by clients, contributing directly to better sales margins.
Investment in capacity
A new round of investments in a flume washer, more cold storage and an infrastructural reorganisation of the production lines will lead to increased production capacity.
Boosting USA revenues
sales to Europe demonstrate a healthy profitability, the sales to the USA - a
natural market for Guatemala - struggle to generate the required margins.
Renewed efforts, in collaboration with FairFruit International, are planned in
order to improve marketing to the USA and to boost the profitability of the US