Canaan Fair Trade
Location: Jenin, West Bank
Beneficiaries: 1700 farmers in 43 cooperatives throughout the West Bank
Canaan Fair Trade sells olive oil and other delicacies produced by over 1,700 small farmers, organised in village cooperatives and represented by the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA).
Canaan Fair Trade supports farmers in enhancing production procedures and product quality, building their capacities to work collectively, and to sell to international markets.
Canaan Fair Trade educates farmers about sustainable practices and supports conversion to certified organic production. They ensure sterling quality standards, while implementingand economic empowerment programs.
Canaan Fair Trade promotes cross-cultural, interfaith, and multi-ethnic connection of all participants in the production and trade processes: workers, farmers, processors, traders, exporters, importers, distributors, and consumers. The idea is to create one community connected by the fair exchange of goods in a cross-cultural setting.
Olive cultivation in Palestine
Olive orchards, which make up 80% of agricultural lands in Palestine, are nurtured as a family legacy that is passed on through generations. Orchards are grown on hand-built terraces, inaccessible by modern machinery, that hug the hillsides and prevent erosion. Farmers work year-round to build and maintain these ancient terraces that were crafted by their ancestors. Persistent hands-on effort is the only way to reap the naturally extra virgin and organic olive oil of the majestic mountainsides.
Photo below: Abu 'Asim tends his olive trees in 'Asira al-Shamaliya village.
A vital source of income
Traditionally, the olive harvest, which constitutes the main source of income and a major food source for many Palestinian farming families, is a family affair. The workers who take a share of the harvest take it as a family. Normally, the entire family participates in harvesting the crop and collectively benefits from it by obtaining their olive stock for the year and selling some for the family income.
These products are certified Fair Trade: creating opportunities for disadvantaged producers, sustaining fair working conditions and wages, empowering women, and preserving traditional crafts and artisan skills.