As we told you earlier, a letter was sent by Kieran Durnien, Assistant Program Coordinator of Fairtrade International, to the management of the BSCFA, warning that the distribution of the $4 million dollars that the farmers are clamouring for could mean the immediate suspension or, in the worst case scenario, removal from the Fairtrade agreement.
Alfredo Ortega also gave his remarks on that letter.
Alfredo Ortega – BSCFA Committee of Management
“Fairtrade has made their comments in regards to the use of the four million dollars. They have clearly stated that they are going to bring implications to the BSCFA, on which I have been vocally pointing out this situation to the farmers, but the farmers say that they know the repercussion is coming on board, but they need the funds. Clearly it will bring repercussions to the BSCFA.”
Emanuel Pech – Plus News
“Including the removal of the Association from the Faitrade agreement?”
“Well, that could happen. It depends of the rest of the other compliance areas that we have. Based on the audit that will be carried out, that will determine if the BSCFA will be suspended or it will be decertified. So it well depends [on] when the auditor comes and do their normal audit.”
“Should the BSCFA be disqualified from the Fairtrade agreement, what then?”
“Well, that would be very serious, because as you know in the market now the consumers are becoming more interested in products that are grown up with the less use of agrochemicals.
So those are things that will really create problems if we are decertified or suspended. So those are things that we really need to take into account, and farmers really need to understand that.”
According to Mr Ortega, only unity and a compliance on the part of every farmer can save the Association now.