On 21st June
2003, Mme Véronique Jean-Pierre from COSAHEC collected the
René Dumont Prize for 2003, which had been awarded to RECOCARNO.
Mme Jean-Pierre is a coffee producer and the co-ordinator
of the coffee co-operative of her town of Carice. Mme Jean-Pierre's
coffee has been sold to Fairtrade importers since 1997, and
through this association she is able to earn over five times
more than she would in the local speculative market. Without
the safeguards of the Fairtrade floor price of $1.26 per pound,
RECOCARNO members would be sharing the plight of other coffee
farmers who are suffering acute poverty and even malnutrition,
and with no possibilities of investment in their children's
future through education.
A 37-year-old mother of five children, Mme Jean-Pierre grows coffee on 1.60 hectares of land in the town of Carice. Before RECOCARNO and the opportunity to sell to Fairtrade, speculators paid 3 gourdes per pound. Now the selling price for the coffee (which is sold under the Max Havelaar label is 16-17 gourdes per pound.
Mme Jean-Pierre has been a member of COSAHEC for 13 years
and has been a co-ordinator for two years. COSAHEC currently
has 819 member, with women making up 45% if this number. The
proportion of women holding managerial and decision-making
roles in the co-operatives has steadily increased, in addition
to other roles in the cultivation and processing of fine coffee
for the Fairtrade export market.