The Preda Fair Trade Project
Preda Fair trade is has recently celebrated it forty year (40) anniversary in February 2014
It is a Philippine organization with global reach and provides assistance to small farmers and the victims of human trafficking and wrongful trade in human persons and every kind of exploitation of the people and the environment. Preda Fair trade strives for sustainability is all aspects of its work and the core of its mission is to protect the environment and vulnerable people.
It is certified as a Fair Trade organization by World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) with the official name PROFAIRTRADE Development Agency SC Ltd. on the WFTO Registration Certificate
Profairtrade,and The Preda Foundation, a Social Development Organization are separate organizations but work closely together one helping the other to benefit the beneficiaries.
The official name of the trading organization is Profairtrade Development Agency SC Ltd.Co. (www.predafairtrade.net) known as Preda Fair Trade based in the Philippines. It is an Fair Trade independent trading organization based on Fair Trade criteria and principles of social and moral responsibility with the main goal of helping small fruit growing farmers, and artisans, craft makers and small independent producers.
It especially helps Indigenous people. It provides fair prices and a premium payment to producers to improve working and living conditions. It funds projects to save abused and exploited children and women and campaigns for trade justice, human rights and the protection of the environment. A percentage of sales go to plant as many as 2000 mango saplings a year. It gives support and training to producers and medical insurance benefits to craft makers.
Working for social justice. Profairtrade spends surplus earnings to promote social justice, combat exploitation, trafficking of persons, child and women abuse and help victims of human rights violations especially minors in prison. It provides safe homes for child victims of sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation where they get healing, legal help, therapy, education and reintegration.
The Preda Foundation Inc. and Profairtrade. The projects for children and victims of human rights violations are implemented through a separate charitable organization know as The Preda Foundation Inc. The People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) Foundation Inc.(www.preda.org) was established in Olongapo City 1974 by Shay Cullen an Irish member of The Missionary Society of St.Columban, based in Hong Kong. Today there are 63 professional paid employees implementing the various projects helping the children.
The Profairtrade also known as Preda Fair Trade, began in 1975 by establishing craft making for young people in conflict with the law who were rescued by Preda social workers from the streets and jails. These children were targets for summary execution by the death squads of the martial law regime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Many young lives were saved by the Preda project.
The assistance to craft makers began in 1975. The project with small farmers, men and women, began 21 years ago, 1993, Profairtrade (Preda Fair Trade) began a partnership with small mango farmers to buy their mangos and other fruit at fair prices and process them into dried mangos and later into Mango puree or mash for the making of fruit drinks. Many small farmers were being exploited by some traders forming a cartel of price-fixing fruit buyers.
Working with cooperatives small farmers. The Profairtrade team established connections with small farmer’s cooperatives, associations and individual growers and formed small groups of farmers from whom Preda bought mangos at a higher price than prevailing prices by adding a premium. The drying and product development was done in partnership with Profood a high quality skilled processing partner which also does the packaging of the dried fruit products for Preda.
The buying of mangos. Prices fluctuate are manipulated by commercial traders with the law of supply and demand Preda pays the best prices prevailing and pays a bonus or dividend per kilo. Profairtrade buys all shapes and sizes of mango fruit at the same higher price without discrimination or selective practice like the practise of some commercial traders. Preda also provides development education and assistance for the indigenous people, helping them with land issues, typhoon disasters, housing projects and gives water and other development projects for the farmers especially the indigenous people.
Marketing. Sales have increased. Thanks to our importing partners, world shops and the Preda Fair Trade customers the sales of the mangos increased greatly and so did the volume of fruit bought from the farmers over the years offering better prices. The buying was done at higher prices and farmers preferred to sell to Preda and Profood until millions of kilos of fresh mangos were being bought by Profairtrade and Profood. This created a challenging competition for the price-fixing cartel.
Preda Fair Trade helped weaken some cartels. The demand for mango products had grown and competition increased. The value of the mango fruit has steadily raised the earnings for all mango growers especially the small growers those only with only a few trees. They are victimized and are cheated by the price-fixing cartels.
Commercial traders select and pay lower. Many commercial buyers do not buy all the mango, they select only the best unblemished fruits called “Table mango”, these are fresh fruit for export to Hong Kong, Japan, China and Singapore by commercial traders. The reject the remainder of the harvest as “rejects” and the farmer earns nothing from the sale of them. His or her only chance to earn from the rejects if he or she he can sell them to the local market. However in harvest time the abundance of fruit drives the value of Mango very low and the farmer get very little of anything at all.
Preda Fair Trade buy all sizes, shapes, colour blemished skin or not and Preda pays the same high price per kilo and pays a bonus also to the farmers based on the volume each will deliver to the processing plant.
A small farmer, is any farmer caring for 50 to 100 trees or less as owner or tenant farmer. Not all the trees blossom every year, perhaps half only will blossom and produce fruit the amount of mangos depends on weather; typhoons, floods, drought and insect infestations, fungus attack that can damage the crop. It must be remembered that there is only one harvest a year or sometimes when naturally grown the trees produce fruit only every two years.
So the small farmers need special assistance from time to time.That is why Preda is introducing new assistance by spending and donating coffee seedlings and coconut seedlings for them to have a mixed crop and bigger all the year around income. They are growing rice, vegetables and have a mixed farming practice. But we want to expand this so that coffee will be a new product for them. Others like the indigenous people also make baskets to supplement their livelihood. Preda gave pedicab bicycles to farmers so they would have a livelihood after a bad harvest.
Preda is promoting organic growing and opposes the use of chemicals. The Aeta indigenous people have harvested the wild Pico mangos for generations and they are naturally grown and Preda is assisting them to develop the Pico mango variety and become organically certified.
Many other kinds of fruit are bought but in smaller volume. Profairtrade and Profood buys all shapes and sizes of mango fruit and also pineapple, Papaya, Guyabano, Passion fruit and Calamansi but in lesser amounts. Always paying the price the farmer asks and above the prevailing price with a premium or bonus added. Today the Preda Dried mangos, mango-coco balls, dried green mangos and sugar free dried mangos are available in Ireland and the UK and World shops throughout Europe and Japan (www.predafairtrade.net).
Directly paying a premium to the farmers. While fair prices are paid to the farmers on delivery of the mangos Preda Fair Trade agriculturists are also visiting the farmers to buy during the harvest and also paying the premium separately for transparency and documentation reasons. The partners of Preda, world shop people and customers are invited and are welcome to volunteer or visit Preda and meet the farmer beneficiaries of Fair Trade. They can also visit and join the work, help the children at the Preda children’s home. This gives the opportunity for students, volunteers, partners and customers of Preda fair trade products to come to know some of the farmers and visit them.
Visitors and volunteers are welcome especially at Harvest time which is from March to June in the Northern Island of Luzon. The harvest is from January to August in Mindanao. Preda fair trade it is done without discriminating and selecting only the biggest fruit, we reject none despite size, blemishing since all are peeled, sliced and dried So all all sizes are bought. This is a huge benefit to the small farmers and growers.
Chemical free mangos. Preda fair trade has a unique chemical free dried mango dried without added preservative or coloring, completely natural and mango puree also. The puree or mash is exported to Germany and is combined with organic apples and is made into apple-mango and mango-orange and other fruits to make new drinks and smoothies. These are healthy and like many fruits can be strong antioxidant:
LAND RIGHTS, ACTION FOR JUSTICE.
Preda FAIR TRADE is in partnership with the indigenous native growers to bring them into organic growing. Profairtrade also delivers additional assistance to the poorest families providing other help such as training, community education, school supplies and pedi-cabs. There is capacity training and product development seminars, housing assistance for handicraft and other producers. Some of these training seminars and capacity building is done in cooperation with the Preda partners in developed countries who import and distribute the Preda producer’s products.
The struggle for land rights and ancestral domain is a nation wide movement. The indigenous people in the Preda Fair Trade project get support and help in getting the rights to their lands and saving it form mining companies, loggers and false claimants. The project is succeeding with land certificates granted to the communities.
Two Thousand of trees are planted yearly, they are of different varieties are planted every year under the tree planting programme conducted and paid for by Preda fair trade. This is one of the additional benefits of Preda fair trade to small farmers and indigenous people Preda Fair trade provides every year 2,000 mango grafted Saplings 1.5 meter tall and other tree varieties, mahogany, teak, Demalima etc. to restore logged-out deforested land.
The grafted tree sapling is more likely to survive and group and produce first fruit within five to six years. Preda youth groups and international volunteers join in the planting during the rainy season July to October. This helps the farmers expand their mango tree farm and income and also saves the soil from eroding and being washed away. The other climatic beneficial effect of replanting trees on deforested land is to reduce global warming and CO² in the atmosphere. Volunteers also visit the farmers and sometimes they choose to live in the villages and work with them in the fields.
Preda Fair Trade helps small craft producers groups and artisan groups and helps the members to improve designs, create new products promotes their products locally and abroad and gives them capacity building training and interest free production loans and other forms of assistance. The materials used are sustainable, environmental friendly and some products are made with recycled raw materials.
We are a trading partner of the Major importers: DWP, Ravensburg; GEPA, Wuppertal; El Puente, Nordstemmen (all Germany); FTO, The Netherlands; World Shops Germany and Austria.
PREDA FAIR TRADE FUNDS SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
The People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) Foundation Inc. (www.preda.org) is an active social development organization today with 63 professional Filipino employees implementing projects that saves children from sexual abusers, and from life in the brothels and sex bars frequented by Filipino men and foreigners of all nationalities. The Foundation was first established in 1974 in Olongapo City 1974 by Shay Cullen an Irish member of The Missionary Society of St. Columban. Preda work is assisted by the earnings from the Fair trade. A percentage on each product earns enough to help provided the following social development and assistance projects.
The work of Preda Foundation expanded to help the child victims of the sex trade and those trafficked women and children who were being exploited in the sex business that flourished in Olongapo City beside the huge U.S. Naval Base on Subic Bay. Preda believes with many advocates of human rights and Fair Trade supporters that a commitment to Fair Trade also carries the obligation to help the victims of human rights violations, trafficking and commercially sexually exploited children.
Preda provides protection and therapeutic services for the child victims and opened a therapeutic community for their recovery and return to childhood for them. Hundreds of children have been rescued from sex bars and clubs and abusers of all kinds. They experience a new life of dignity in a residential home on the hills outside Olongapo. There are as many as an average of 20 girls 14 to 17 years-old rescued from the sex industry, bars, clubs, cyber-sex dens where they were commercially exploited. In a nearby building another 30 girls 6 years to 17 years-old, all victims of sexual exploitation in the home or by paedophiles in the community.
An extensive Public advocacy programme in the towns, villages, colleges and schools by Preda public speakers and human rights advocacy teams educates the public and the government officials daily on the child and women’s rights showing how the children need to be helped and rescued. A new awareness and reporting system has been activated. A hot phone line alerts Preda to a child in need and Preda rescue team is sent to rescue the child with the help of the government social worker and police if needed.
Abused children are fully protected at the Preda home for girls. There abusers are brought to justice when possible by the Preda legal team. There the children recover and experience a childhood children. They are empowered and seek justice. They come into a affirming, supporting, caring community where they feel respect and wanted and discover there self-esteem and value and experience the security and relief that as absent in there life as victims. They have counseling, therapy, vocational training, formal education and values life formation. They are growing in maturity and responsibility through affirmation and support of the professional Filipino staff and are regaining self-esteem and personal dignity. These projects are partly funded by Fair Trade Sales and supplemented by donations from charitable donors and organisations.
An international campaign to stop trafficking of women and children was begun in 1983 after Preda social workers discovered the widespread exploitation of children as young as nine by the local pimps, politicians and sex tourists and US servicemen. The industry was allowed to thrive despite the protests of Preda, a lone voice for the victims of abuse. The Preda social workers and officers were harassed and threatened for speaking out and protecting the victims. Preda also campaigned against the sex industry and advocated for the US Navy base at Subic Bay and Clarke Air Base to be converted to an Filipino industrial park.
Eventually in 1992 the campaign succeeded and the Philippine Senate was persuaded to deny the renewal of a treaty to allow the bases to continue. Today there are an estimated 100,000 Filipinos earning decent wages from the economic zones and the sex industry was greatly reduced.
The International sex Mafia came in to fill the empty sex bars and clubs and offered children and women for sexual exploitation. Preda retaliated yet again by campaigning against the sex industry, fighting cases to convict abusers and traffickers of women and children and rescue child victims. PREDA is providing lobbying, advocacy and legal protection, shelter and therapy for the child victims until the present time.
Releasing the child prisoners. Preda began in 1974 giving sanctuary and protection to hundreds of children and teenage minors that have been released from the damaging conditions in jails and detention centers where they suffered abuse and violations of their human rights. While new laws passed in 2006 now protect children younger that 15 older one still endure hardship behind bars. Most have not committed a serious crime. They are held for weeks or months awaiting a hearing before the prosecutor or the court. Some have been illegally arrested and framed up. Most are not convicted and all are awaiting justice in conditions contradictory to human dignity and the rights of the child. Some were in danger of summary execution by vigilante death squads when they were on the streets.
Human rights advocacy. Today Preda social workers continue this important work of defending human rights and dignity of the minors by taking legal action and releasing youth and children in conflict with the law from prisons and government youth detention centers. Through Preda legal action they are transferred to the Preda boys home where they find a new sense of values and human dignity in a free open environment and a dedicated staff that persuade them to remain voluntarily and choose to change their lives. As many as 90 Percent stay of the own free choice. The community workers and therapists give encouragement and inspiration for them to begin a new life and go to school and learn life skills.
Preda campaigns for justice and human rights and against corruption to protect these youths. Preda uses media and lobbying and seminars and workshops to educate and campaign for peace and an end to a culture of impunity and lawlessness. In the past and present many young people and social activists, priests and pastors and human rights workers and journalist have been arrested, tortured and killed by secret execution squads or hired assassins because of open fearless speech demands for social change and demonstrations against corruption.
The death squads are still active and are allegedly supported by some wayward city mayors, military and police. The work of protecting the minors by developing public awareness saves lives of many and it is changing the system so that there is growing respect for the rights of children in conflict with the law. In the Preda therapeutic community the minors learn spiritual and human values, skills and get an education for a better life.
Giving daily child rights seminars and workshops in schools, towns and villages by teams of Preda community educators and public speakers. Supported with visual aids, pamphlets, comics, the education on human rights is changing the society, helping establish Committees on Child Protection and bringing officials and citizens to a higher level of awareness about the rights of women and children. This has brought about more reporting of cases of child abuse and help and protection and therapy for the victims.
Typhoon relief. Preda is active in 2014 and 2015 in delivering assistance and help the survivors and children of the typhoon Haiyan disaster. Many children are being trafficked and abused due to their poverty and vulnerability. Preda employs 6 teachers, public speakers delivering training and seminars to prevent trafficking of persons for exploitation to thousands of children, teachers and parents in the Tacloban and wider disaster area. They are also distributing vegetable of seeds to over a hundred farmers on the typhoon hit Islands.
Preda has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received the German City of Weimar and Italian Human Rights awards and the Prix Caritas award of Switzerland and many other recognitions.