Fiji and Guyana join Belize as Fairtrade sugar suppliers to Tate & Lyle as the company progresses towards 100% Fairtrade sugar switch.

Following the February 2008 announcement to switch its entire retail cane sugars range to Fairtrade, Tate & Lyle is delighted to congratulate farmers’ groups in Fiji and Guyana on their certification which means they can join the company’s launch partners in Belize in supplying Fairtrade sugar to the company. Tate & Lyle has already increased the amount of Fairtrade sugar sold in the UK tenfold compared to 2007, and this announcement increases the number of farmers globally who can benefit from Fairtrade premiums when they work with Tate & Lyle from 6,000 to more than 10,000.

The deal is potentially worth $2.2 million annually in Fairtrade premiums on top of the contract sugar price for the 4,000 Fijian farmers of the Labasa Cane Producers Association (LCPA) and $240,000 for their 400 counterparts in Guyana.

Based on previous experience in Belize, Tate & Lyle believes that its combined investment of $2.4 million in Fairtrade premiums marks a significant opportunity for the two new groups to make steps forwards. Since announcing its first Fairtrade partnership with the 6,000 small-scale growers in the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association, the switch has created a return of £2 million in Fairtrade premiums each year. The farmers there have used the premiums to increase production levels, introduce more environmentally friendly farming techniques and improve the chances of raising the funds they earn each year even further.

President, Tate & Lyle Sugars, Ian Bacon believes that it makes good business sense for Tate & Lyle to invest in the sustainability of its supply chains: “We are delighted that the Labasa cane farmers in Fiji have achieved Fairtrade certification. It is a challenging system, but has brought many benefits to cane farmers in Belize, and we look forward to the cane farmers in Fiji and Guyana also reaping the rewards of Fairtrade.”

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, adds: “Tate and Lyle have done a fantastic job in bringing onboard new Fairtrade farmers. They have worked really hard in supporting these farmers to become organised and to get Fairtrade certification. I congratulate Tate & Lyle on their continued commitment to take Fairtrade to the next level.”

Labasa Cane Producers Association’s project coordinator, Mohammed Habib, says: “Now that we have Fairtrade certification, cane producers and the wider community can benefit from additional Fairtrade premiums in improving their livelihoods.”

Guyana spokesman Walter Persaud agrees: “We are proud to announce that we have achieved Fairtrade certification and will ensure that the farmers, their dependents and the communities in which we live take this opportunity to improve the lives of as many of us as possible.”

Tate & Lyle

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