The Yishui Xingye Association is located in the Shandong province of the Chinese East Coast and lies on the lower course of the Yellow River.
58 farmers are members of the association and, besides peanuts, they produce maize, sweet potatoes and wheat. These are small-scale farmers that lease a few plots on which to grow their crops. On average a farmer farms an area of 10-60 hectares.
The cultivated fields are in a hilly area, 150-200 metres above sea level, and water erosion is a problem. To counteract this, terraces have been laid out and supported by rocks. In addition, trees were planted in and around the organic farmland. The hilltops are wooded or hedged which contributes to plant and animal diversity.
The peanut harvest starts mid-September and the peanuts are sorted, cleaned, stored and packed in their organic only processing factory.
The association received Fairtrade certification in 2009, when FLO employed a representative for the Asian region who could speak Chinese. The farmers can make suggestions for the use of the premium, but successful ideas must fulfil each of the following three points they have pinned up in their training centre:
- Serves a basic need
- Signifies an improvement in the situation of the farmers as a whole
- Possesses a long-term benefit
Since 2009 the farmers feel they have become more independent and that their economic situation is improving.