What we love about Canaan Fair Trade is that they’re more than just about olive oil; they’re a community of people working to improve the lives of farmers and Palestinian communities in an area that is rocked by instability and conflict. This is why we’re so excited to have Canaan Fair Trade and their olive oil as this season’s featured producer and product for our quarterly Fair Trade food subscription!
Here’s a little more about them
Canaan Fair Trade uses the fair trade concept to empower marginalized Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture. In order to do that, they have built direct working relationships with these communities, paying sustainable prices for their agriculture products to ensure fair wages for labor along the supply chain. They are in continuous partnership with over 1,700 Palestinian farmers and 43 cooperatives, where this blossom to press connection means Canaan Fair Trade can guarantee consistency for the highest quality olive oil every year.
They educate farmers about the sustainable practices and support conversion to certified organic production. Their aim is to ensure high quality standards, while implementing social and economic empowerment programs.
By giving incentive to produce a high quality product, Canaan hopes reestablish traditional sustainable farming as an avenue for Palestinian farmers earning a livelihood. Fair Trade provides a vehicle for alternative cultural expression and the opportunity for communities caught in conflict to connect with the outside world.
Canaan Fair Trade is certified Fair Trade and certified organic, but they’re also so much more than that. Here’s a just a few ways they go above and beyond their labels and certifications to truly provide for their farmers.
Trees for Life:
This program gives thousands of olive trees to farmers starting out, as well as smaller farmers, and those whose trees or lands have been destroyed by Israeli Occupation. In the past 10 years, the project has planted more than 100,000 trees!
Green Track Palestine:
This is a grassroots campaign to convert Palestinian farmers tractors to run on vegetable oil, specifically using falafel oil which is plentiful in the Palestinian market. This project will be environmentally responsible, support a renewable resource, enhance waste management of used oil, and free farmers from dependence on costly fuel.
The micro-loan project of the Palestine Fair Trade Association is designed to enable small producers with little or no resources, especially women, to become producers and benefit from the fair trade returns. Many of Canaan’s products— like couscous,za’atar, and olive oil soap— started this way.
Canaan Scholarships is part of an investment in leadership benefitting farmers communities. The scholarship extends four years of tuition at local Palestinian universities to children of famers who show leadership potential and commitment to community service. Recipients committee to volunteer in community service programs for the four summers during their college years. Since 2007, 40 scholarships have been awarded!
Center for Organic Research and Extension (CORE):
The Canaan Center for Organic Research and Extension Center, is a non-profit that will serve as a national central for conducting research, education and extension activities to promote organic production and marketing of fruits, vegetables and grains in Palestine.
To see all Canaan Fair Trade products, click here.
All photos by Canaan Fair Trade.