As a year 2021 was a milestone year for the Green land co-farming producer group from Sterna, Messinia, because after months of preparation and with great passion it managed to become a probationary member of the (World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO https://wfto.com/).
WFTO is a global community of social enterprises whose practices fully comply with the principles of fair trade. These are innovative ventures that pioneer in the implementation of business models in which individuals and the planet are the ultimate priority. It is worth mentioning that Green Land is the first organization in the agricultural sector in Europe that was eligible to apply for fair trade certification!
Facilities – Premises
Additionally,, in 2021 and as a result of its participation in the alternative network of Fruits of Solidarity, Green Land completed its own packaging plant which fully covers the needs not only of Green land but also of other producers in nearby areas.
Quality of the product: News
Concerning the quality of their product, this year’s harvest will bear the certification of organic farming while at the same time it will be a certified production of PDO Kalamata, which is a result of the interventions of producers and cooperatives in the region, in order to support the preservation and dissemination of local traditional varieties as well as to prevent the penetration of genetically modified organisms in their varieties.
Producers’ team news
Green land co-farming’s producer group consists of 6 producers and 1 full-time employee and at the same time cooperates with 8 other producers with a corresponding product quality. What is noteworthy is that in 2021 it increased the cooperating producers by 100% and the seasonal workers by more than 100%. This shows that while the process of certification of products as organic and the process of integration into WFTO take place, there is also an increasing tendency to absorb production of producers in nearby areas.
Green land’s main goal to be able to sell their products at fair prices through fair trade channels and as time goes by to increase their sales and to include more producers in their team remains the same.
The producer’s price is decided by Green land co-farming and the final price through the Fruits of Solidarity campaigns is determined in cooperation with all stakeholders.. Therefore, the producers’ needs, the cost lists and the future investment forecasts (in necessary equipment, training) for its development, are taken into account.
Due to Covid-19 the last 2 years, the number of in person meetings has decreased. Unfortunately, extroversion, participation in exhibitions, meetings between producers, organization of seminars and discussions on issues related to the production process and other issues have been decreased in the latest years.
One of the two employees of the cooperative is also a member, the youngest of the group. The members of the cooperative as well as the employees have the same decent working conditions. The group operates on a non-discriminatory basis at all levels. They all discuss equally and decisions are made on an equal footing by all members of the group.
Green land follows environmentally friendly techniques in cultivation, as well as in waste management in the production process (minimal intervention on the farm, reuse of water and by-products, biological cleaning of olive mill, creation of pellets and kernel oils). All producers in the group are organic farmers or are being converted into organic farming. They also follow a system of integrated management at all stages of production, while in some estates they started a year ago completely natural cultivation. In addition, in the next period, the installation of natural biological cleaning with reeds, a completely natural method, has been designed and is to be implemented.