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FairTSA’s Community Development Makes Huge Impact
Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance’s certified producer partner Biotropic SRL facilitates 200 farm workers and their families apply for Haitian Citizenship
By: Biotropic SRL
Our mission at FairTSA is to support rural communities so they become thriving, livable and economically viable entities where people have a life worth living and a future. Farm workers, often the poorest and socially most disadvantaged part of the rural population, are clearly part of our vision of Fair Trade. Biotropic SRL owns an organic banana farm in the DR called Finca Villa Lobo.
This project is about protecting the farm workers at Villa Lobo by acquiring their immigration status so they can continue to live, work and thrive in the DR. This venture is unprecedented, and will literally mean saving Villa Lobo and the working lives of the farmers.
According to the New York Times there are roughly three quarters of a million undocumented workers from Haiti working in the Dominican Republic. Most of the workers are employed in construction and agriculture, and many have lived in the DR for 40 years or longer. In 2013 the Dominican Republic Supreme Court stripped tens of thousands of children born to undocumented immigrants of their statehood. A subsequent law threatens most of the undocumented Haitian immigrants with deportation. After international protests and backlash, the DR government allowed the stateless workers to apply for Haitian citizenship and proper DR work permits until mid-June 2015. Following this date, the Dominican Republic seems intent on massive deportations of undocumented workers.
As of June 17, 2015 Biotropic SRL has successfully helped all of their farm workers apply for Haitian citizenship!
“We are thrilled to see this community development project happen for the farm workers at Villa Lobo. Accomplishing this task can save many farm workers and their families from an unknown and potentially dire fate. The project emphasizes the importance of the social engagement of companies such as Biotropic SRL ” said Dr. Winfried Fuchshofen, FairTSA Executive Director.
Fair TSA is a New Lebanon, NY, based innovative Fair Trade program working in world-
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