At Canaan Fair Trade, we are proud of the certifications we have achieved from independent third party organizations for organic products and fair trade practices. They are important and have helped us enter markets and introduce fine Palestinian products to the world.
But we feel certifications are only the beginning, they meet the minimum standards for practices that are not exploiting farmers and workers, not harming the land. They say we are not doing bad, but don't really say what we are doing.
We want to extend our reach and our impact, our fair practices towards our farmers and workers, our sustaining the environment and it's capacity to regenerate, our ability to invest in Palestine. We want sustainability and growth as company producers and as members of society.
So Canaan Fair Trade, a mission based company, gives back to the farming communities of Palestine through grassroots efforts and our own programs:
- We plant olive and almond trees through Trees for Life. Over 92,000 trees have been planted with small farmers, starter farmers, and for those who lost farms due to the military occupation.
- We support women with microloans to Women's cooperatives, $500 interest free loans, paid off in two years and reinvested in another woman, or $3000 interest free loans paid off in four years for entrepreneurial business startups.
- Our annual Harvest Festival the first Friday of November every year where hundreds of internationals come to pick olives and break the seige with cultural and personal interaction. There are demos, songs, hot bread baked on the spot and fresh olive oil off the press.
- We support Green Track Palestine converting tractors to run on used falafel oil (filtered at Canaan) instead of diesel fuel.
- We train future leaders with our scholarship program which has sent 40 farmers children to college. Now we are supporting a mentoring program to send Palestinians to intern with organizations and develop organic leadership in Palestine.
- Canaan is an incubator for social innovation. Our long-time employees are encouraged to identify a social or environmental problem and develop a business plan to address it. Canaan will support them with a $100,000 interest free loan to start their own socially responsible company and take their knowledge outside of Canaan.
- Canaan Center for Organic Research & Extension (CORE) will bring Palestinian farmers together with the world organic movement. This means taking traditions from our organic farmers, researching knowledge together and spreading knowledge both throughout Palestine and with the world.