Selecta One promote Fairtrade poinsettia

For Fairtrade Fortnight, September 15 - 29, Selecta One and its 55m/year poinsettia cutting farm Wagagai in Uganda have launched a project with Fairtrade to improve the wages of the employees.

Selecta One will give 5c per poinsettia sold to the scheme this year, up from 1c but says it needs customers to buy the Fairtrade plats in volume for the plan to work.

Both partners will stop adding certification costs and marketing costs of the poinsettias to the selling price. By adding a few cents to the price of the fairly traded cuttings a "significant bonus" can be generated on the back of the volume of Fairtrade sales.

The bonus flows directly into Fairtrade bonus fund for the workers. This collaboration between Fairtrade,
Wagagai and Selecta One is called the Wagagai Cents project.

Selecta One supplies Fairtrade certified young plants to their poinsettia growers as well as conventional ones. Fairtrade improves health and safety measures, enables freedom of association and collective bargaining, and the employees benefit from a Fairtrade Premium, which can be used for social projects. In 2016, Selecta generated through their poinsettia sourcing at Wagagai a return of 8,000 Euro to local workers as a premium. Independently from this Selecta and Wagagai are fulfilling all environmental and social standards set by Fairtrade to meet the certification requirements. In Uganda as well as in other developing countries, basic wages in agriculture are well below what would be considered a living wage.

Selecta One chief executive Per Klemm said: "With this decision we are able to transfer already in 2017 about 45,000 Euro in addition to the Fairtrade premium to our cutting farm in Uganda. This sum will be solely used for the benefit of Wagagais staff. We are happy to have taken that decision within the context of the Fairtrade Fortnight in order to further contribute to alleviate poverty in this part of our world."


Wagagai Farm director Olav Boenders added: Following the standards of Fairtrade the agreed premium will be submitted to the Fairtrade committee fund, who will decide democratically for which social project it will be used for. With almost additional 45.000 Euro we are happy to pay out a full monthly salary extra to each worker as an extra Fairtrade bonus. From this about 1000 workers and their families will benefit.


Fairtrade International chief executive Dario Soto Abril said: "The Fairtrade premium is an important tool for implementing projects that benefit the community. Low wages remain a challenge to the individual development of workers and their families. That is why we applaud this innovative project of Selecta one and Wagagai to take a further step toward a living wage for these workers and inspire others in the industry to join in.


Fairtrade International says it "is committed to assist implementing Living Wages on other farms in Africa, Latin America and Asia".


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