BY KAREN PAPELLERO
Vol. VII, No. 13 May 6- 12, 2007
You can have it green and sour, sweet and ripe or sweet and dry. You can have it juiced, sliced, crushed, blended or chipped. In whatever way you like it, it gives the familiar taste to the tongue evoking memories of togetherness and summer fun.
Just like its shape, mangoes evoke memories close to the Filipino heart.
Being a land where mangoes abound, everyone who visits Cebu always leaves with a kilo or two in one’s satchel. But for the practical bisita (visitor), instead of bringing the raw fruit, they bring with them the handier form – dried mangoes. As delectable as the raw fruit, it is more convenient as pasalubong (bring home present) or as a palatable snack.
The journey of the mango fruit from the time it ripens in the trees to the moment they see the inside of a store is a journey of hard work and dedication by the hands that transform them.
The mango trees are being tended by members or networks of a local farmer’s organization that directly deals with mango planters – without middlemen. The mangoes are sold at prices that are equitable and reasonable based on the actual cost of production, mostly higher than what other commercial buyers pay for.
Safety first! One has to endure the heat under the gown and mask as per the health and safety code being implemented in the Southern Partners and Fair Trade Corporation (SPFTC) mango plant in Sitio Sto. Niño, Inayagan, Naga, Cebu.
No electric fans or airconditioners can be used because it will circulate the air and will affect the quality of the mangoes.
Beautiful are the hands that work inside a company that is guided by the vision of Fair Trade – genuine, total development of the people and society, whereby justice, empowerment, self-reliance and sustainability of the natural resources for our people.
Care for the environment, for its workers, for equal partnership between the producers and the buyers and for strong and comprehensively developed countryside and agriculture as the foundation of genuine industrialization.
The workers are members of people’s organizations and partners of SPFTC in the different areas of Cebu. Men and women who are not only trained in skills needed to do their job but also highly conscious of their role in advocating for Fair Trade.
Reaping awards for product excellence is just one proof that products by Fair Trade endeavors, all over the world, can compete in the mainstream market.
Quality and mutual benefits of trade can go hand in hand.
Just like the river that waters the mango trees, the support and faith of people believing in the principles of Fair Trade and working to achieve it everyday, will nourish the movement for trade that fosters social justice.