Eat Well, Do Good: Support Farmers in Kerala, India

By: Co+op
Members of Fair Trade Alliance of Kerala, India (FTAK).

Through food, our communities extend around the world. Just as food co-ops build relationships with our local farmers, we also work together to build and maintain relationships with the farmers who grow the tropical crops we love like coffee, coconut, nuts and chocolate. Though they may be far away, those farmers are our critical partners in building a more sustainable food system.

We know that the frequency and intensity of natural disasters threatens to fatigue our resources, and worse, our spirits, but fair trade, organic farmers in Kerala, India could really use our help. In August of 2018, incessant rains caused devastating floods that swept away the farms of families who are part of the Fair Trade Alliance of Kerala (FTAK). It was the worst natural disaster to hit the region in one hundred years—roads, electricity and water systems were completely destroyed and many homes as well.

FTAK organizes and assists fair trade and organic farmers who grow, among other crops, the coconuts and cashews that are used by at least two of our largest fair trade partners, Alter Eco and Equal Exchange. Both of these companies are leaders in supply chain transparency and are well known for building strong, equitable relationships with small, family farmers all over the world. At participating food co-ops throughout the month of December (2018), when you purchase a package of Alter Eco truffles or Equal Exchange cashews, one dollar of your purchase will be donated to farmers in Kerala to help them recover their farmland and plant crops. Both of these items make excellent holiday and host gifts.

In addition, food co-ops across the United States have collectively made a donation of $20,000 to these farmers as they work to recover their farms and homes. If you would like to make a direct donation to the farmers, you can do so through Fair World Project. Eat well, do good this holiday season—behind every favorite food is a farmer. Let’s show these farmers some love!