SUGAR cane growers in Lautoka will meet soon to decide how to use the $1.5million accrued through Fair Trade Certification.
Lautoka Cane Producers Association (LCPA) president, Praveen Singh said the Fair Trade funds were raised from 15,000 tonnes of cane planted, nurtured and harvested under strict requirements.
"We received certification a week ago after a year-long campaign to meet the stringent guidelines set out," he said.
"We held a board meeting on Thursday and have started doing assessments and farmers will be consulted on any decisions we make on how the funds will be used."
Mr Singh said Fair Trade funds would greatly benefit farmers and the community as a whole without burdening growers with any cost.
"This is the only association for farmers where no levy is imposed and as more cane is harvested under Fair Trade, growers will receive more funds that will continue to benefit cane growing communities in the Western Division," he said. Mr Singh said the LCPA would operate out of the Sugar Cane Growers Council premises until an office space was found.
"The LCPA would like to thank the Prime Minister, government, Sugar Ministry and all stakeholders that contributed to our achieving the certification.
"This initiative will help growers move out of poverty," he said.
To achieve Fair Trade certification cane growers have to meet stringent guidelines including not using child labour and chemical fertilisers.