The PREDA Foundation is a human rights organization, founded in 1974, working to protect the rights of children throughout the Philippines. Among other projects, they rescue and rehabilitate children from the subhuman conditions of Filipino gaols, and free street children who have been forced into prostitution. Not surprisingly, their work has often incurred the wrath of the Filipino government and mafia.
PREDA works with about 28 handcraft and farming groups with a membership of about 2,100. These may be co-operatives/people's organisations or family-based or private businesses, but all are regularly monitored to ensure they practise fair trade. About half of the members are women. Five of the co-operatives produce mango, involving some 350 farmers.
PREDA assists groups both by capacity building in a variety of ways, and with marketing their products, with priority given to co-operatives and people's organisations. The development of export products and extensive marketing has had a very significant impact on mango farmer co-operatives all over the country. It is reported the mango farmers now earn approximately double their previous income.
PREDA will advance some 30% of the raw material cost. Common earnings are 200-300 pesos per day relative to the minimum wage of 180 pesos per day. Bonuses are paid on religious holidays and help is given in times of emergency. Preda also contributes to the Grameen bank whose services are available to producers. Repayment success has been 95%.
All members are beneficiaries of training and capacity building, various forms of financial assistance, especially in emergencies, and an annual dividend of 10-15% of sales which is earmarked for education of children, health needs, workspace improvements and appropriate technology. Recently, product development has become a priority and thus sales for the producers have increased.
(All images courtesy of Trade Aid)
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