You pick up a Fair Trade, organic mango from Haiti at Whole Foods. It's expensive. Where is that extra money going? Who does it benefit?
For answers to those questions, as well as a glimpse into how a mango gets from a tree in the backyard of a family in Haiti to our supermarket produce section, check out this excellent video from Whole Foods.
The Haitian Francis mango, which grows only in Haiti, has a harvest season of just 6 to 8 weeks. Mango farmers are generally individuals who have one or two trees on their property, not massive plantations, and for some families, the income they make selling mangos will be all the money they bring in for the year.
During harvest, a picker climbs up the tree and uses a stick with a sack at the end to pull each fruit from the tree. Bags of picked mangos are carried on donkeys or on people's heads to a gathering place, where they will be washed and dried before being put on a truck bound for an export station. There, the mangos are packed and sorted by hand before making their way to us.
Farmers who join cooperatives to sell their fruit as Fair Trade or Whole Trade receive more logistical support and are able to sell more of their mangos for a better price than those who just sell on their own. We think it is worth it to pay a little more for a Fair Trade Francis mango if you're able to, knowing that the extra money is helping small farmers in Haiti.