At Jardines Piaveri (Farms) we started to work with Fair Trade since 2002 with the Max Havelaar Program with the aim of producing flowers in a more socially conscious way. For the first 2 years we used to work only with the parameters that the representatives of Max Havelaar gave us. But in 2004 we established additional policies and standards for every worker and we chose by election the representatives of the Workers Committee and of the Joint Body. The Joint Body didn’t have juridicial legal status for the following pokies games 2 years but in 2006 , the Corporation of Community Development Max Piaveri was created – now all under the permission of the Ministry of Welfare.
This “Max Piaveri” initiative is now able to see many great projects through using the premiums kicked back by the sale of their Fair Trade and Max Havelaar certified products. One of those programs is the Loans project, started in 2004. It has benefited over 33o employees! This microfinance program allows people to get small loans to do things like home improvements, health and education. In general the idea is to give them the chance of getting better life conditions. One of many things we can now do to help improve conditions for our workers.
–Mario Ponce (Jardines Piaveri Farms, Ecuador) on how Jardines Piaveri evolved to put the Fair Trade premiums to work for their farm.