Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fair Trade Products Now Sold at TRTC

A few of the fair trade products now available for pasalubong
at the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center.

Left to right:  Mr. Ueda Makoto, Alter Trade - Japan president, Mrs. Gilda Caduya,
Alter Trade - Philippines president, and Mr. Angelito Gabriel, CCT Inc. executive director.
Fair trade products are now sold at the Pasalubong Center of the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center (TRTC) following the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Alter Trade Corporation, a fair trade corporation based in Bacolod City, and TRTC.

The products include muscovado sugar; banana chips; jams made from jackfruit, coconut, mangosteen, pineapple, papaya, and guava; juice concentrates made from mangosteen, guyabano, calamansi, and passion fruit; wild honey; lemon grass oil, syrup, and powder; cocoa and chocolate.

Fair trade, according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary is a movement whose goal is to help producers in developing countries get a fair price for their products so as to reduce poverty, provide for the ethical treatment of workers and farmers, and promote environmentally sustainable practices. 

Alter Trade Corporation was established in 1988 in response to the worsening situation of Negros sugar workers caught in an island-wide crisis caused by plummeting world sugar prices in the early 1980s.  After a series of feeding and relief operations to thousands of displaced families, women and children, progressive Japanese consumers and development organizations in the Philippines hatched the concept of ‘trade not aid’ as a sustainable intervention for the crisis victims. In 1988 the first shipment of Mascobado sugar arrived in Japan and  Balangon bananas began to be shipped to that country a year later.

Today, Alter Trade continues to combine business and social development, and its organic farming and fair trade practices are compliant with international standards.

Anjji Gabriel, CCT Inc. executive director, said  CCT is pleased to have a partnership with an organization that also serves the Filipino poor.

Mr. Makoto speaks of doing people to people
trade, specifically by directly linking Filipino
producers with Japanese consumers.
Mrs. Caduya: "As Alter Trade continues to expand its partnership and
 relationship building  within the borders of our  country, we will do so
working with organizations that  put the interests of marginalized
people in the forefront of its operations."

Mr. Angelito Gabriel: "I sincerely hope and pray that this joining
of hands  will truly make a difference in thousands of  lives,
that it will have a deep and lasting impact
on needy families and in the communities
from where these products come."

A sampling of the bite-sized goodies prepared for the
MOA signing event by Chef Harlequin 'Queenie' Boloron
using organic muscovado sugar, jams made

from local fruit and other Alter Trade products.  

Photos: Michelle Taway and Myra Gaculais del Rosario