The New Zealand government announced Wednesday it will support small-holder farmers in the Pacific region in getting a fair price for their produce.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced 4.56 million NZ dollars (3.69 million U.S. dollars) in new funding for Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand (Fairtrade ANZ), part of the global Fairtrade International organization, which promotes better terms of trade for small farmers in developing nations.
“There is scope for the producers of niche products in the Pacific to make a significant contribution to export earnings and employment,” McCully said in a statement.
The Pacific Showcase at last year’s Pacific Islands Forum, hosted by New Zealand, had shown there was real demand for high- end Pacific products, such as top-quality cocoa, coffee and vanilla, he said.
“Gaining Fairtrade certification will help position Pacific growers and producers up the value chain by assuring consumers that the products they are buying are contributing to the sustainable economic development of the region,” he said.
“New Zealand’s funding for Fairtrade ANZ will help producers get their products certified, develop marketing opportunities, link farmer groups to buyers, and raise consumer awareness here in New Zealand,” said McCully.