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319 Sugarcane Farmers Suspended

319 Sugarcane Farmers Suspended
August 14
10:06 2018

The Labasa Cane Pro­ducers Association is calling on sugar cane farmers to adhere to the Fairtrade requirements.

A total of 319 sugarcane farmers have been suspend­ed, this year.

Of the 319 farmers, 109 farmers are placed under major suspension while 210 are placed under minor sus­pensions.

The Labasa Cane Produc­ers Association was the first organisation in Fiji to be Fairtrade certified.

The Association’s inter­nal control services officer Mohammed Shah said the suspensions were imposed after farm inspections this year because they did not meet stringent Fairtrade re­quirements.

“Major suspension means they have been suspended for a year while minor sus­pension means they could be received back into the as­sociation once they adhere to certain requirements,” Mr Shah said.

“These farms placed under suspension are considered at risk and will not qualify for assistance as per our in­ternal regulations.

“Fairtrade focuses its ef­forts on farmers, so they can receive a fair share of money from the billion dol­lar sugar export market,” he said.

Mr Shah said meeting Fairtrade standards was not only about gaining fi­nancial benefits but was a way to improve social, en­vironmental and economic development.

“Farmers are very for­tunate that our sugar is almost 100 per cent Fair Trade certified maybe the only country in the world.

“So as long as we can find the market the Cane Pro­ducers Association will al­ways get that money to as­sist you,” he said.

maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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