Re-Think Business as a Force for Good

We’re an organic and fair trade pioneer. Over the years, we’ve grown into a global fresh fruit group, but our mission stayed the same. We’re here to save soils, lift up lives, and nourish the world with healthy food.

We farm, export, import — and we also train and support. We are on the ground with growers, empowering them to leave poverty behind and restore ecosystems.

This is how we re-think business, and make it
fruitful for all.

REFRESH

your stocks and yourself with fruit that's flavourful and fair

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Apple

  • Organic and Demeter
  • year-round
  • three continents
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Avocado

  • organic and Fairtrade
  • year-round
  • two continents
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Coconut

  • organic
  • year-round
  • Ivory Coast
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Banana

  • organic, Fairtrade and Demeter
  • year-round
  • three countries
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Clementine

  • organic
  • October to April
  • Europe and Peru
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Ginger

  • organic and Fairtrade
  • July to May
  • Peru
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Grape

  • organic
  • most of the year
  • Europe and Africa
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Grapefruit

  • organic
  • year-round
  • three continents
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Kiwi

  • organic
  • year-round
  • Italy and New Zealand
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Lemon

  • organic
  • year-round
  • three continents
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Lime

  • organic and Fairtrade
  • year-round
  • four countries
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Mango

  • organic, Fairtrade & Demeter
  • year-round
  • three continents
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Melon

  • organic and Demeter
  • October to January
  • Brazil
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Orange

  • organic
  • most of the year
  • two continents
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Turmeric

  • organic, Fairtrade & Demeter
  • September to May
  • two countries
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Pineapple

  • organic
  • year-round
  • Ivory Coast
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Pear

  • organic and Demeter
  • year-round
  • two continents

100% organic. High quality.
High volume. Fair terms.

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RE-VISIT

17 years of impact
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The first big re-think
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In 2005, our founder, Patrick Struebi, was an executive at the world's largest commodities trading firm.

On a business trip to Peru, he witnessed first-hand how this industry took a toll on the environment and on rural communities. He knew he could not dedicate his life to an unjust system that was making the rich richer and the poor poorer. It was time for him to re-think.
He quit his well-paid job in Switzerland and moved to Mexico to reconsider his life.

He arrived without a plan, but once he settled into his new community of farmers, he felt a strong desire to support them. He realized that with his knowledge of international trade, he could open up tremendous opportunities, and bring the world one step closer to an ethical system of trade.
He knew that he didn't just want to help: he wanted to empower people to help themselves. He set up an organization where locals took the lead from the start, and instead of just buying and selling, focused on giving farmers the skills and the market connections that they needed break out of poverty and thrive.

This is how Fairtrasa, short for Fairtrade South America, was born.
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The world's first fairtrade avocados
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Having been founded in Mexico at the heart of the world's avocado production, our first goal was to change that industry’s status quo.

We have seen hundreds of small-scale avocado growers selling their produce to middlemen at prices that kept them trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.
We sought to disrupt this fate. We formed a smallholder cooperative, and helped develop fair trade standards for avocados, which were unheard of at the time.

Before the year was over, we succeeded in bringing the first certified Fairtrade, organic avocados to the international market.
By showing that business can be a force for good, we changed the expectations of consumers and farmers — and the world started to change as a result.

Today, Fairtrade avocados are common on the shelves of European and North American supermarkets, improving hundreds of thousands of lives across seven countries.
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Award-winning farmer development
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Before Fairtrasa, two types of organizations worked with smallholder growers. For-profits bought their produce, while non-profits engaged in development, when their donations enabled them to do so.

For us, acting as simple traders was out of the question — we wanted to be on the ground with growers to help them improve their farms and capabilities. But we also wanted to do this without charity.
Our goal was to create a self-sufficient, financially sustainable model for development, and we succeeded.

Our approach has caught the eye of the world’s leading organization for social entrepreneurship, Ashoka. In 2008, our founder has been selected to become an Ashoka Fellow, a network of pioneers who developed new ways to use business as a force for good.
In the years that followed, we earned fellowships and distinctions from Yale University, Endeavor, CGI, UBS, Endeavor, and others.

We have also received the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” award four times, and were invited to become a member of the World Economic Forum to share our experience with other organizations, public and private, who sought to improve their impact.
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The first vertically integrated business for farmer impact
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From day one, our goal was to scale and replicate our business-and-development model, and lift up farmers’ lives across Latin America. This is what propelled us to establish subsidiaries in several countries around the continent.

Our next challenge was to ensure that as much of the sales price flows back to the source as possible...
...not only to ensure that farmers can get fair prices, but also to finance social and environmental projects.

We realized that the best way to achieve this was to create our own import and sales offices in Europe. This is how we evolved into the first vertically integrated fresh fruit group that is set up to maximize impact.
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Re-thinking agriculture on
a global scale
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17 years have passed, and the world has become a different place. Poverty has been exacerbated by climate change, something that increasingly defines all of our daily realities.

Organic agriculture and supporting smallholder farmers remain our cornerstones of sustainability, but today we see a need to do more.
We believe that new partnerships and ongoing innovation hold the keys to continued success.

We are partnering with experts in regenerative agriculture to improve our training programs and make our growers’ more climate resilient, while turning their farms into carbon sinks.
We have also developed a new co-creator model to support socially and environmentally conscious growers around the world.

Business can only become a true force for good if we think outside the box to find solutions to the world’s pressing problems — and if we join hands to enhance each others' impact.

OUR
GROWERS

around the globe

Our field offices support smallholder farmers in three countries, and we partner with socially responsible organic growers across three continents.

See the journey of your fruit

Don't we all want to know where our food comes from? We work with Storybird, a dynamic platform that stores and displays everything that happens to our fruit, from farm to fork. Just click on these cards or scan the QR codes on our products.

Our environmental commitments

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Keep expanding organic agriculture

Continue to help growers transform conventional land into thriving organic farms

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Regenerate soils

Support our organic growers in implementing advanced regenerative practices

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Draw down carbon

Net negative emissions together with our regenerative growers

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Regenerate forests

Help replant forests with indigenous varieties in deforested areas

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Biodegradable packaging

Switch to biodegradable consumer packaging by the end of 2022

Re-Thinking Agriculture

Our goal is to help the entire sector to become more sustainable. This is why we research, trial, and then share our learnings publicly. Join us in our journey to re-think how we farm, and what we can achieve with agriculture for the future of our planet.

Explore
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Avocados with
half the water footprint

Water use at one of our orchards is only 55% of the UNESCO-IHE reference value. We found that there are three key factors that make their production a model for sustainability.

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Why smallholder farming is not the past: It’s the future

Smallholder farmers usually live on or close to their land, and have a deep interest in a healthy environment and multi-generational productivity. They can also manage their farms in more complex ways with more patience and attention to detail.

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Regenerative agriculture and climate change

By bringing CO2 into the ground, regenerative practices not only help us mitigate climate change globally, but also make farms more climate resilient and productive.

Read on

We empower smallholder farmers

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$4.5 million

distributed in Fairtrade premiums

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Farmer Development

training, pre-financing, support

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20 to 50%

income increases for small growers

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Over 56,000

lives impacted

We empower our workforce

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41% female

workforce across the group

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Living wage

or more in every country for every position

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Majority

of field office directors are women

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Locals for locals

field offices 100% run by locals

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Recognized as a leading

Global social enterprise

Our innovative business model has been honored with awards and fellowships from the world's largest organizations that support farmer development and social entrepreneurship.

In addition to the support that we have received, their recognition has helped popularize our approach and extend our impact. In the name of the 56,000 lives that we have touched, thank you.