Kabore Christine has fifteen children to look after, eight of her own and the others belong to other women who are in the Cote d'Ivoire. Many of the women in the co-operatives are Burkinabe who went to Cote d’Ivoire in hopes of improving their livelihoods, but returned to Burkina after war broke out, leaving many with no land, no employment and many widowed.
Tropical Wholefoods have worked with Fairtrade co-operatives in Burkina Faso for more than 20 years. Fairtrade and the social premium benefits the community as a whole, but women are the backbone and heart of the operation, making up the vast majority of the workers who produce this delicious Fairtrade mango. Being a part of the co-operative allows women like Kabore Christine to support their families from the regular wages they earn, ensuring their children receive an education, and obtaining medical supplies when needed.
The cooperatives also use their Fairtrade premium within their communitites, to build canteens where the women can eat and relax, provide loans for bicycles so they can get to work on time and for gas cookers for their homes. They have also contributed to health care centres which house adult literacy classes and a crèche.
She thanks the co-operative and Fairtrade for their survival, but it is the women in her immediate co-operative who bring her the most support: “First of all there is solidarity. If you have a problem, everyone supports each other.”