the fair trade foundation: RONAP, a Brazilian nut co-operative
The Amazon Rainforest has long been plagued with deforestation and exploitation of its valuable and not-so-renewable resources. The RONAP cooperative in Peru aims to help local communities to strengthen their economic outlook and to preserve the valuable resources within the rainforest.
RONAP is a Spanish acronym for "Organisation of Organic Brazil Nut Gatherers of Peru". It was founded by 42 nut gatherers in April 2003 and formally registered as a co-operative in February 2004. Before they formed RONAP, nut gatherers worked individually and sold their nuts for whatever price they could get. In 2006, around 65% of a family's income in the area came from the co-op.
The families gather nut pods that have fallen to the forest floor during the rainy season. This process saves the trees and surrounding environment from any undue damage. This not only protects many families' livelihood, but also the rainforest itself.
The RONAP co-op follows the following fair trade principles:
- Fair Working Conditions: Provides an acceptable working condition to the workers in the co-op.
- Fair Prices: The co-op charges a fair price in order to provide a sufficient income to the workers in Peru.
- Integration Into the Local Economy and Regional Development: 65% of families in the local area earn a living through the co-op.
- Fair Trade Partnerships Between All Actors in Tourism: The organization only trades with partners within their approved network.
- Sustainable Resource Use and Environmental Justice: The nut pods are harvested by picking them up off the forest floor. This provides minimal impact on the trees and the forest, because the workers do not have to cut down anything.
Check out RONAP, by going to this link: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/producers/cosmetics/ronap_brazil_nut_cooperative_peru.aspx