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Fairtrade producer organizations in 55 countries are benefitting from the €2.1 million Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund that is helping thousands of farmers, workers and their communities cope with the immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Following the outbreak in Wuhan, the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in February in both Africa and South America. Fairtrade International responded in March by mobilizing member organizations and partners to donate to the Fairtrade Producer Relief fund. By early May the money was already being disbursed and used for urgently needed investment in safety and livelihoods.

Since then, farming communities have continued to show incredible resilience and determination by finding new ways of working to ensure safe working environments and business continuity. Across Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas key efforts include:

  • distribution of personal protection equipment (PPE) and basic food necessities throughout the producer networks

  • testing, hygiene and prevention education to limit the spread of the virus

  • awareness programs to help employees be mentally prepared for outbreaks, playing a key role in managing fear and mental health

  • safeguarding resources to meet increased production costs

  • temporary payment of wages for suspended workers in some regions

Fairtrade International reached out to our three producer networks to find out what receiving this support means for those on the frontline of the pandemic. Here’s what they said.

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