Equal Exchange & Tropical Wholefoods have been purchasing dried mangoes and cashews from Fair Trade company Gebana Afrique in Burkina Faso for more than twenty years.
Gebana Afrique purchase Fairtrade Organic dried mangoes from seventeen different rural cooperatives and associations in the South of Burkina Faso. They also purchase Fairtrade organic cashew nuts and run a cashew processing facility themselves.
Every year, thousands of tonnes of fresh mangoes and cashews are processed in the local processing facilities. The vast majority of people working on the mangoes and cashews are women.
Mango and cashews brings three fold benefit to the cooperatives.
The fresh fruit farmers benefit from sales, the women doing the processing gain from paid employment. Then in addition, there is the Fairtrade social premium which benefits the whole community.
Adult literacy, new water sources, bicycles and cereal banks are just some examples of what the social premium has been spent on by co-operatives.
Since 2009, Comic Relief have funded a project under their Trade Programme to develop Biogas as an energy source for the Mango drying Cooperatives, to improve the overall efficiency of mango drying technology, to tackle mango pests, and to reduce the use of wood as fuel in cashew processing.