Farmers and Farm Workers

Shop for Change sets out to help the most marginalised small-scale farmers and include them in the process of identifying needs and setting targets.

Training and development
The Shop for Change participatory approach enables farmers and their producer groups to identify needs and implement training to improve production practices, lower costs and maximise efficiencies. Furnishing farmers with necessary skills and knowledge enables them to grow their farming businesses and work their way out of poverty. This is a sustainable poverty reduction tool which empowers farmers to make their own choices and plan for the future.
Improving livelihoods
Shop for Change farmers are organised into farmer groups which trade on behalf of individual farmers and share the fair trade benefits among their members. We check that farmer groups are treating their members equally and that they are accountable and transparent. Trading this way protects farmers from local traders who often pay low prices and treat farmers unfairly. Farmer groups benefit from more direct market access to value-added markets giving farmers an increased share of the profits. They also support farmers in meeting Shop for Change standards, help them access government and other support schemes and provide farmer training to increase profitability by creating efficiencies and lowering production costs.
What’s more, Shop for Change rules mean that the buyers who purchase from farmer groups have to take into account market conditions, overheads, crop quality and other costs borne by the farmer group when negotiating a fair price.
Wage protection, worker rights and equal pay for women
Farmers pay workers a fair wage and pay male and female workers the same amount for the same work. All workers are free to come and go and no children under 14 may be hired to work on the land. Children of farmers, however, are able to help out on their family farm from time to time provided that they are safe and their education is not adversely affected.
Safe and healthy workplaces
Farm workers must be provided with a safe and healthy workplace, have access to clean drinking water and be fully trained and protected before undertaking hazardous tasks. There can be no discrimination, harassment or abuse and farmers must follow fair and pre-agreed discipline guidelines.
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