In Palestine, ensuring the viability of agricultural livelihoods is becoming increasingly vital to a people who still retain their ancestral connections to their land, and Fairtrade is playing a crucial role. On World Fair Trade Day, we celebrate the profound impact of the Fairtrade movement on the lives and livelihoods of producers the world over. Not only does it support companies like Zaytoun to bring exquisite Palestinian almonds to British customers, but it provides crucial market access for the communities who tend the trees.
Doing business differently
Fairtrade offers a beacon of hope for marginalised farming communities; and for Palestinian almond farmers it opens up access to international markets. Fairtrade buyers appreciate the value of ethical sourcing, and they show that appreciation by paying a fair price for the dedicated work of producers. A fair price supports farmers to improve their living conditions, and enables producer communities to invest in education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Fairtrade almonds: a sustainable crop
Our Om al-Fahem almonds are almost entirely rain-fed, making them one of the most sustainable varieties. This premium variety was grafted onto a rootstock that has long adapted to the local terrain and climate conditions, making the trees naturally resilient to drought and able to survive solely on the rainfall in the northern West Bank. In a place where many farmers are unable to fully access their own water resources, this is crucial.
The tradition of Palestinian almond cultivation contributes to a healthy ecosystem. Planting and tending these trees promotes biodiversity, and growers use regenerative farming practices such as intercropping that boost long-term soil health. The wisdom of Palestinian farming communities and their age-old traditions of land stewardship is woven deeply into almond cultivation..
Fairtrade farming supports resilience
Farming holds great significance in Palestine. It is in this area around the Eastern Mediterranean that farming is said to have begun around 10,000 year ago.
Nowadays, agriculture not only provides livelihoods but also acts as a means to retain ownership of land. Every time a customer chooses our Palestinian products, they play a crucial role in supporting Palestinian farmers to remain on their lands, combatting potential land confiscation.
Additionally, increased food production enhances food security and self-reliance among Palestinian farmers. Diversification of crops, including almonds, offers greater economic resilience to changing environmental conditions including climate change, and market fluctuations. Growing and selling a wider range of produce reduces reliance on a single crop such as olives and boosts both food sovereignty and income stability.
Exceptional taste and health benefits
Beyond the impact on communities and the environment, Palestinian Fairtrade almonds offer exceptional taste and health benefits.
These premium Om al-Fahem almonds are large, creamy, and exquisitely crunchy, offering a delight with each bite. Thanks to the market access provided by Fairtrade, these truly special almonds have gained the recognition they deserve, winning a prestigious Great Taste Award in 2020.
Palestinian Fairtrade almonds offer customers indulgence that is guilt-free. Not only are the almonds environmentally benign but they’re also one of the most nutrient-dense foods, offering high concentrations of nutrients per nut. They’re a rich source of healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
By choosing our Fairtrade almonds, customers can enjoy a Great Taste Award winner and one of the few sustainably-grown almond varieties, while uplifting farming communities and promoting food security in the face of climate change.Manal Ramadan White, Zaytoun MD
Fairtrade – Be the change
Fairtrade has created a trading ecosystem that fosters a sense of connection and solidarity. It enables consumers to actively participate in creating a virtuous cycle of prosperity, ensuring that hardworking farmers receive fair compensation for their efforts. This shared responsibility builds bridges between communities, transcending geographical boundaries and bringing a real sense of global citizenship.
Now it all goes to one buyer and we get paid during the harvest instead of waiting months to sell all our produce. We are now our own masters. In short, Fairtrade made farming viable for us as Palestinian farmers.Mohammed Irsheid, almond and olive producer