Burkina Faso is a small, landlocked West African nation just north of Ghana and the Gulf of Guinea. One of the poorest nations in the world, Burkina Faso’s economy is primarily supported through international aid. More than 80 percent of its working population works in agriculture, often toiling long hours to support rich Western markets.
A bright spot in the bleak economic outlook of Burkina Faso is Gebana Afrique, a fair trade organization based in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso and the cultural and economic hub of the nation. Thanks to our friends at Equal Exchange, the Co-op has Gebana Afrique organic dried mango in our stores now!
The mangoes are 100% free from added sugar and preservatives and supplied by small mango farmers, processors, and dryers—all organized as cooperatives and associations. The vast majority of the producers who grow, dry, and process the mangoes are women. Sales of the mango products provide badly needed income to the the co-op members, who in turn use the income to raise the standard of living in their communities.
Each mango cooperative decides collectively how to use the fair trade premium they receive for the sale of mangoes. To date, members have used premiums to provide adult literacy classes, new classrooms, a health center, mosquito nets, medicines, new water sources, bicycles, and office equipment.