COOBANA Combining Fairtrade activites and the co-operative model

Budget range (€):
Agriculture and Fishery
Environment and Energy
Type of Activity:
Budget Support, Donations
Training and Capacity Building
Institutional Building (i.e. advocacy, etc.)
Legal Framework and Policy Reform
CEDP Organisation: Lead Organisation(s):
The COOBANA Co-operative
the co-operative group

Project Objectives

To strengthen COOBANA co-operative, to improve access to clean water, sanitation and low-cost fuel efficient cooking stoves


Updated news:



The Co-operative Group became involved with the COOBANA cooperative in 2008 and became a major buyer in 2009. Even though COOBANA wasn’t yet Fairtrade certified, the Co-op Group paid voluntary premiums until it achieved this in 2010. Since the beginning of The Co-operative Group’s involvement, premiums have been used to build a dining hall, a community meeting point, and helped with renovations and repairs for 25 family homes in the community. The combination of Fairtrade and the co-operative model has clearly benefitted the community as a whole. But individuals are also being enabled to follow their chosen paths with  26 scholarships being paid for university students to date. For instance, 25 year old mother of one and packer at COOBANA, Ana, is studying part time to become a primary school teacher. Fairtrade has enabled this community to gain better prices for their crop. But the cooperative model that they follow is equally important as this has empowered members to make collective decisions, leading to funds being spent on vital water and sanitation projects, such as lavatory blocks, covering wells, rainwater collection and the installation of a public laundry. Between 2014 and 2016, workers housing has continued to be improved, and work has taken place on a project to develop school gardens, to help teach children about healthy eating. In July 2016, a new community shop was opened, giving workers and the community access to reasonably priced grocery staples.   They have also invested in fuel-efficient stoves to make living conditions inside their homes much safer and healthier. These initiatives have contributed to the overall health and well-being of the community. As a result of coming together as a cooperative, the growers’ negotiating power has increased, leading them to get double the price they were previously receiving. Alongside Fairtrade certification, this ensures that COOBANA are getting the best price possible for their bananas.



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