The Fair Trade Program for Yellowfin Tuna Starts its New Chapter in Mandioli Island, North Maluku

3 May 2018
Indah Rufiati
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In April, with the support from USAID Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (USAID SEA) Project, MDPI officially launched the Fair Trade program for yellowfin tuna in Mandioli Island, South Halmahera Regency, Maluku Utara Province. To start the program, two Fair Trade Fisher Associations were formed in in Lele Village involving 25 fishers, followed by 13 fishers from Bahu Village.

MDPI is an experienced Fair Trade implementer that has successfully implemented the world’s first Fair Trade USA seafood certification in Maluku in 2014 in collaboration with Coral Triangle Processors — a processor and also exporter of yellowfin tuna, the client/certificate holder.

Fair Trade certification is a six-year process, with continuous improvements and third party audits required on an annual basis. The world’s first Fair Trade certified seafood, Maluku yellowfin tuna, is now available in >1000 Safeway and Hy-Vee stores as well as in a number of well-known restaurants across the U.S, recognizable with the Fair Trade USA logo.

Fair Trade empowers people to make choices for the good of themselves and their community. By choosing Fair Trade certified seafood, consumers realize that they make a conscious and ethical purchase by supporting small-scale fishermen through the incentive called Fair Trade Premium Fund, a proportion of the sales returned to the community. The Fair Trade Premium Fund is given to the Fishers Association and can be used for community development projects, such as building public restroom, improving mosque facility, and road infrastructure. 30% of Fair Trade Premium Fund must be allocated for environmental projects such as trash bin development or sea turtle nursery project.

The new Fair Trade Fishers Association in Lele Village, North Maluku. Photo credit: Indah Rufiati/MDPI

Writer: Indah Rufiati

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