Fairtrade ANZ to continue support

FAIRTRADE Australia and New Zealand says while it is aware of the challenges faced by the Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association, there is not much it can do apart from continuing to support the organisation.

In response to requests for comment after interim president Adi Selai Waqawai was removed from office by the association’s board, Fairtrade ANZ said any issues in regards to regulations had to be dealt with by FLO-CERT, the auditing and certification body for Fairtrade.

“Our role is to support Fairtrade certified producer organisations to comply with the internal rules and regulations that they have set up for themselves,” said acting public engagement and advocacy manager Kim Greenstone .

“As such, we have been and will continue to support the Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association to address the situation in a way that complies with the Fairtrade standards.

“It is the role of FLO-CERT, the independent auditing and certification body for Fairtrade (quite separate from Fairtrade ANZ), to verify that Fairtrade standards are being complied with.”

The association has been plagued with issues. Internal bickering has resulted in the arbitrary removal of a number of executives over the past four years.

In the latest incident, Adi Selai claimed she was arbitrarily removed in April this year via a letter handed to her by a bailiff.

Three months after her removal as the interim president, she is still waiting for answers from the executive body.

Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association acting president Kalyan Prasad said the growers body had informed Adi Selai of the reason she was asked to vacate the acting president’s position.

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