Eat them whole, or find them in cooking oils and cosmetics. There is a huge variety of Fairtrade nuts, seeds and pitted fruits available. They range from olives to peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds, and soya beans. Some, like wild-growing shea nuts, are collected by associations of gatherers. Others, like coconuts, can be grown on small-scale farms and plantations.
Fairtrade works with farmers who’ve formed small producer organisations, as well as contract production organisations in the process of forming independent co-operatives. These farmer organisations create a local support mechanism that facilitate:
Access to markets
Access to finance
Better resource management
Better risk management
By offering stable prices and a viable outlet for their product, Fairtrade helps encourage some of the remote communities growing nuts to protect their areas from logging and deforestation. By avoiding the switch to monoculture crops like palm oil, this can also help to preserve biodiversity.
Fairtrade also supports nut and oilseeds producers through access to advance credit and the extra funds from the Fairtrade Premium. Producers have been able to invest in quality improvements and processing facilities that allow them to capture a greater share of the revenues from their harvests.
For many nut and oil products, there is also a market in by-products. For example, coconuts yield not just the fruit or milk, but also water, husks, and shells – all of which can be sold by producers who receive a Fairtrade Premium on these secondary products, too.