Two Earthquakes shake Mexico

The southern part of Mexico had not yet recovered from the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred shortly before midnight on Thursday, September 7th, when another strong quake struck on Tuesday the 19th at 1:00 PM; this time the epicenter was located 120 KM from Mexico City, with a magnitude of 7.1. The first earthquake impacted the Mexican states Oaxaca (around Isthmus and Tehuantepec) and Chiapas, estimating more than 100 people dead, 2.3 million affected and 5,000 buildings damaged, including homes, schools, hospitals and churches.

While the first quake primarily affected rural areas, the second had implications for urban zones, due to the proximity of the metropolitan area which inhabits more than 20 million people. In this instance, many buildings were destroyed, including schools and houses, burying people amongst the rubble.

Impact on Fairtrade Organizations

In the images, it is possible to observe the area affected by both earthquakes, as well as the location of all Fairtrade organizations in the region. Due to the first quake, Fairtrade coffee farmers and their families were affected in the vicinity of the mountain range “Sierra Madre del Sur” in Oaxaca, as coffee is produced around the outskirts of the mountains. Organizations have reported 500 houses collapsed. Among these organizations is UCIRI, a pioneer of Fairtrade. According to technical personnel, in the indigenous region of Zapotec, farmers’ houses have been damaged and cracked, leaving families fearful of collapse.

The second earthquake affected the central region of Mexico; this is where Fairtrade honey organizations are located, as well as agave and avocado. It is reported that one honey organization suffered warehouse damage and two members’ homes were severely damaged; these will soon be demolished by the government. Once the state of emergency passes, the National Fair Trade Platform in Mexico hopes to make additional assessments to quantify the total damages in a final report.


At a national level, extended families, communities and citizens have been responding in solidarity. Neighbors are supporting each other by sharing their homes. Temporary shelters have also been opened. Expressions of solidarity have occurred throughout the country; people have come together to deliver food, clothes and other supplies to collection centers.

There has been interest from various National Platforms and other Fairtrade organizations to show solidarity for Mexico by means of financial support, to buy construction materials such as sheets, cement and rods, supplies that are currently in high demand. All forms of solidarity and brotherhood are appreciated. Please consider donating to relief efforts for Fairtrade organizations in Mexico.

Voluntary donations can be transferred to the follow bank account of the National Fair Trade Platform in Mexico that gathers Fairtrade Organizacions.

Bank Information

Account Number: 0158691053
IBAN Code: 012180001586910534
Branch: 4118, Roma
Address: Durango #81, CP 06700, Colonia Roma Norte, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F., MÉXICO
Address: Guanajuato 131, interior 301, CP 06700, Colonia Roma, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F., MÉXICO

Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean: Wreaks Havoc on Agricultural Sector

In the Caribbean islands, Fairtrade organizations, members of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC), were affected by the passing of Hurricane Irma.

Fairtrade producers on the Windward Islands suffered minor losses after strong winds and rain, according to the three organizations located on the islands. Dominica was also affected by the storm, with damage to 23.6% of hectares in production (i.e 290 hectares).

Unfortunately, Cuba has suffered the most damage from Hurricane Irma. On the island, specifically in the area of Villas, Santa Clara, reside four sugar cane organizations. Together, these organizations are made up of 509 small producers with a total area of 2,746.65 hectares in production. There is still much uncertainty about the flooding, and the current conditions of the region due to power outages, lack of water and inability to communicate.

CLAC has not yet made contact with the organizations; however, a contact person in Havana is working to find out the current conditions and calculate losses caused by the hurricane. It is estimated that up to 60% of the harvest has been lost.

In the Dominican Republic, the northern region suffered the most damage; specifically the provinces of María Trinidad Sánchez, Valverde and Montecristi. Most affected products include banana and cocoa. In banana, there are a total of 30 small producer organizations and 20 plantations. There is been an estimated damage of 30% of Fairtrade banana production, equivalent to 4,000 hectares of land. The six Fairtrade cocoa organizations are distributed throughout Nagua, San Francisco de Macorís, Castillo, La Milagrosa and Puerto Plata. Though they did not suffer major losses, 26% of cocoa crops were affected by rain water and high winds (16,367 hectares). The worst losses were reflected in diversified crops, such as avocado and lemon, corresponding to more than 18% of the organizations’ production.

All of the above reinforces the need for us to join together to strengthen the formation and training of Fairtrade producers, so that they can become more resilient to climate change and face the challenges that it implies.

“Irma’s damages, coupled with the damages caused by heavy rains in November 2016, have serious consequences for the income of producers and their families, putting future sustainability at risk.”
Marike de Peña, BoardPresident, CLAC

CLAC continues to monitor the conditions of the affected areas, in order to assist producers and provide them with necessary support.

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We have a new site


We are very happy to announce the launch of the new website of the Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequeños Productores y Trabajadores de Comercio Justo, CLAC:

More accessible and interactive, the new website was created in order to facilitate, from the home page, the access to a more complete content which will allow you to view CLAC’s information and activities:

–          Home: Register, Share, Learn and Successful Experiences such as our ‘What do you think of us’ section and our latest news stories.

–          What is CLAC: Who are we, our mission, our vision, our history and our work.

–          Structure: General Assembly, Board of Directors, National Coordinators, member countries and products.

–          Networks: What are the Product Networks and their activities?

In the “News” section, you will be able to read about CLAC’s activities and also learn about our “Platforms” where you will find three different tools created to support small producers and workers: CLACBook, Cla@se and Progreso Network.

We hope that you will enjoy our new website!

Today is a Historic Day!

Today marks the historic moment 25 years ago when a handful of Dutch pioneers and Mexican coffee farmers decided to go against the tide and make a fair exchange for the fruits of their labour. This drive to “make trade fair” has become a nearly 5 billion euro-a-year global movement touching the lives of millions of farmers and shoppers.

Marike de Pena, Manager of BANELINO, a Fairtrade cooperative in the Dominican Republic, and Vice Chair of Fairtrade International, adds:  “Fairtrade is one of the most effective approaches to achieve economic, social and environmental progress for small farmers, their families and their communities. The strength of the Fairtrade approach is that people take control of their lives through their work and can invest in a better future.”