Golden Exotics Limited (GEL) has distributed more than GH¢1.7 million among 2,200 workers of the company as bonus earned from Fairtrade between 2015 and 2016.
Fairtrade is an international arrangement where consumers in rich countries pay a little for items produced with specified raw materials sourced from developing countries. The extra payment is referred to as the bonus, which is normally distributed to the people (farmers, farm factory workers) who directly produced the raw materials.
In 2012, Golden Exotics subscribed to the Fairtrade certification with the aim of enhancing the socio-economic status of its workers to support their livelihoods and empower them economically.
The Corporate Affairs Manager of GEL, Mr George Kporye, while addressing the workers during the Fairtrade awareness at the plantation at Kasunya, near Asutsuare in the Eastern Region, said a committee of 14 workers was set up to represent the plantation workers and three appointed management representatives to manage the Fairtrade Premium on behalf of workers.
“The Fairtrade Premium is a direct benefit to workers for Fairtrade sales. The company receives the relevant commercial price for the produce. In addition, the committee receives a Fairtrade Premium equivalent to €0.8 for each 18 kilogram box and in pro-rata sold as Fairtrade, for the workers to invest in social and economic development projects of their choice and in compliance with Fairtrade standards,” he explained.
Mr Kporye further explained that the premium was received into a separate account and was managed by the Fairtrade committee.
Mr Kporye said some of the projects financed with the premium were subsidising school fees of employees’ children in secondary and tertiary institutions.
The premium proceeds also support basic education in the community through supplies of teaching and learning materials such as schoolbags, exercise books, textbooks, pens and pencils for qualified wards of employees at the basic level.
In the area of health care, treated mosquito nets were distributed to workers, while workers were treated to one hot meal at the company’s canteen.
The Vice-President of the Fairtrade Premium Committee, Mr Emmanuel Agbedor, said part of the premium had been allocated to the construction of a three-unit science laboratory for the Osudoku Senior Technical School, a six-unit vocational training centre for Osuwem community and a creche/nursery and kindergarten complex for the staff of GEL.
“An allocation has been made to supply potable water to the Kasunya and Nyapienya communities by constructing a borehole for them,” he stated.
Mr Agbedor urged workers of the company to work hard and remain dedicated because their hard work was paying off.