© Neil Palmer/CIAT
Enabling more women to join banana-, cotton- and tea-producing organisations could benefit business and support global development, according to a new study from the Fairtrade Foundation.
Increasing participation would also bring gains for women, the organisation said.
Although the Fairtrade premium is often invested in projects that benefit women – such as access to childcare or training to help them diversify their income – Fairtrade says that increasing the participation of women farmers could boost productivity and provide opportunities to launch new, ethically marketed products.
The foundation is seeking to address the disparity between the proportion of women in Fairtrade-certified organisations (22%) and women in the wider agricultural workforce in developing countries, where their numbers are almost equal with men.
The Fairtrade Foundation has published seven recommendations, including gender analysis and equality policies, that could help to break down the legal, social and cultural barriers to women’s participation in Fairtrade production.
Fairtrade Foundation commercial director Euan Venters said: “Businesses understand the importance of equality in the workplace. This International Women’s Day, we want them to look a bit more closely at the women in their supply chain as well. Addressing gender equality doesn’t just benefit women – there can be significant business benefits too, and increasing women’s participation can also help to address long term sustainability issues.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020