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Huiwani Cooperative Society

Overview

The Huiwani story is one of optimism and empowerment. It's a story of four villages coming together to work towards a single goal: to create a bright and sustainable future from their cocoa. 

Officially registered as a cooperative in 2007, Huiwani Cooperative Society is comprised of 260 members growing conventional and certified organic cocoa and vanilla (certified by CERES of Germany) in the East Sepik export in August 2010 and operates under its own license. It is estimated that more than 500 individuals receive benefits from the association. 

Huiwani produces a total of 150 tons of organic cocoa per year, with an additional amount of conventional cocoa available. Cocoa is harvested for ten months of the year with the flush seasons from March to June, and September to November. Cocoa is fermented in local fermentaries and dried with a combination of sun and hot air drying. The cooperative has plans to purcahse solar dryers.

Fairtrade Impact: 

Huiwani received Fairtrade Certification in May 2011. In July 2011, Huiwani received its first Fairtrade Premium of NZ$3,800, and plans to use these funds to invest in construction and supply costs for a school located central to its communities. Members and their families look forward to the economic security and opportunities for development provided by access to global markets through the Fairtrade System. Also in July 2011, Isaac Micah, the Chairperson of Huiwani, was elected to serve as a Pacific Sub-Network Representative for the Fairtrade Network of Asian Producers, the regional body representing Fairtrade certified producers in Asia and the Pacific.

The Fairtrade Premium is the sum of money paid on top of the agreed price for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects that meet the needs of producer groups, which for Huiwani include the following:

  • Low levels of education which are attributed to the burden that school fees places on a family’s income, and the fact that students must walk 2 to 3 hours to reach the nearest school.
  • Common health problems such as malaria, diarrhoea and complications during childbirth which can only be treated in health centres located more than 2 hours away.
  • Huiwani does not own a vehicle for the transport of cocoa beans and thus pays high costs for vehicle hire.

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