Fair Trade certification for SunSelect Produce, a grower that supplies The Oppenheimer Group, is designed to help workers in Guatemala and Canada, according to a news release.
When the Aldergrove, British Columbia-based SunSelect achieved Fair Trade certification in early 2014, it became one of the first western Canada growers to start a program that helps workers in Guatemala working in greenhouses, according to the release.
SunSelect’s season is complementary to Mexico’s harvest where Fair Trade Certified bell peppers currently originate, Mary Jo Cook, Fair Trade USA’s chief impact officer, said in the release.
Up to 120 SunSelect workers — including 100 men and women from rural Guatemala — plan to use the Fair Trade premiums in community service projects, according to the release.
“For the last 15 years, Fair Trade USA has worked primarily with farmers and workers in the developing world,” Cook said in the release.
John Anderson, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, views the development as an opportunity to improve many lives while providing consumers with quality items that resonate with their values, he said in the release.
“SunSelect has proven their commitment to environmental and social responsibility over the years, but Fair Trade certification elevates their efforts to an even higher level,” Anderson said in the release. “We’re proud to market the first Fair Trade Certified peppers grown in North America, just as we were when we introduced the first Fair Trade peppers from Mexico — grown by our partner Divemex — to our customers a few years ago.”