get to know three rad fairtrade businesses run by women
We spoke to three rad female founders who ensure they’re making a positive global impact while doing what they love.
There’s no denying starting a business, let alone running a successful one, is hard. We spoke to three rad female founders who not only make it work but ensure they’re making a positive impact globally while they’re at it. All three businesses have Fairtrade-certified products, and a big part of their mission is to work with farmers and suppliers addressing the gender gap by empowering women. Gender equality is key to every country's development and these businesses help more women participate in the global economy. They also make some of the best things in life… chocolate, tea and coffee!LUCY BENNETTO
FOUNDER OF BENNETTO NATURAL FOODS CO.
Tell us a bit about your business and what you make? We make organic chocolate using cocoa beans that have the most transparency as possible.
Why did you start making chocolate? Because I’ve always loved eating chocolate! I started making it on my kitchen bench about ten years ago. I want to make quality chocolate more normalized – it doesn’t have to be super expensive.Is being certified Fairtrade important to you? How come? Yes. I want to make a positive impact on a large scale. I know we are doing things with integrity and paying people fairly.
Have you met the people that grow the cocoa that goes into your chocolate? Yes, we met a lot of very strong women when we visited some of the cocoa farms we use. On one of my trips to Peru pretty much half of the people leading their farms were women.Is there a story behind the cute bird illos on your packaging? Sure is! They’re referenced from real birds in the Peruvian Amazon, where our chocolate is grown. We wanted to highlight them because we really care about the environment.
What’s your fave choccy flavour? Our dark chocolate with orange and chilli.
CO-FOUNDER OF MONTVILLE COFFEE
Tell us a bit about your business and what you make? We are a coffee roasting business on the Sunshine Coast.
Why coffee? We chose coffee because we thought we could understand its supply chain and learn about what changes needed to be made to make the supply chain more just.What does “Fairtrade” mean in the world of coffee? It means that coffee roasters don’t trade with an individual, they trade with a cooperative. The significance of that is an entire community or entire region advances together. When you trade directly with an individual farmer, it can create disunity and even more disparity between wealth and poverty. The cooperative is enshrined in law, so within the very structure of Fairtrade human rights are embedded, like the advancement of women and the protection of children.That’s interesting. How does Fairtrade advance women specifically? Women do most farming labour in the developing world but men control most of the income. So Fairtrade says that every person is an equal participant and it doesn’t matter what your gender is.
What makes an excellent cup of coffee? Fairtrade beans because then you know you can drink it and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You know there’s no slavery in your cup.
CO-FOUNDER OF ELOMENTS NATURAL VITAMIN TEA
Tell us a bit about your business and what you make? We make 100 per cent natural vitamin tea. Every cup has eight different nutrients in it.
Why tea? A lot of people are concerned they’re not getting enough nutrients, but they dislike taking synthetic supplements. So we put natural vitamins and minerals in a cup of tea.Why is being certified Fairtrade important to your business? We want to accelerate the world’s transition to a living wage for all. We are really passionate about justice and dignity for all workers.
What does “Fairtrade” mean in the world of tea? For the tea that we buy there’s a minimum price that we have to pay per kilo to the farmers cooperative. The co-op also gets an extra payment from traders. They can use that to buy things together that they wouldn’t be able to buy on their own. For example, a truck to transport crops to market or put in street lights in their local village.
What do you know about the people that grow your tea? Women run many of the farms and there’s a lot of biodiversity. They grow tea and spices, produce honey, or they might have a little nursery where they sell seedlings.
Which tea is your favourite? Bourbon vanilla. It’s got a beautiful sweet vanilla note with chai-like spices.
This lovely set of interviews was brought to you buy our mates at Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand. Fairtrade certification means that businesses have committed to challenging the gender gap, enabling women to succeed on their own terms.You can find out more about how Fairtrade is empowering women around the world here.