AXELUM Resources Corp. has achieved Fairtrade International accreditation as part of its efforts to strengthen its social initiatives for local coconut producers.

The listed manufacturer and exporter of coconut products said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that 1,000 farmers are currently enrolled in its Fairtrade program, which is divided into nine clusters in the towns of Medina, Magsaysay, Salay, Talisayan, and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental. The program covers 2,300 hectares of organic coconut farms.

According to Axelum, Fairtrade promotes a global system that connects farmers and workers in poor countries with customers and companies worldwide, resulting in positive transformation.

“Our core values are consistent with Fairtrade’s mission of connecting producers and businesses worldwide who believe in promoting equitable and sustainable livelihoods, empowering marginalized producers to overcome poverty and build a brighter future,” Axelum Chairman and CEO Romeo I. Chan stated in the disclosure.

According to Axelum, it established its Fairtrade program in 2019 to support local coconut growers and to grow its platform for sustainable growth.

According to the corporation, Fairtrade-certified businesses must pass rigorous and independent audits in accordance with the ISEAL Assurance Code, a worldwide benchmark for sustainability standards.

The Fairtrade system’s highlights include the establishment of a “Fairtrade Minimum Price,” which specifies the minimum price at which producers are compensated when selling their products under Fairtrade, and the “Fairtrade Premium,” which is additional money paid above the selling price to fund cluster-initiated projects.

Each cluster, in collaboration with the Axelum Fairtrade Team, undertakes a comprehensive needs assessment research via a systematic and collaborative activity, the business said.

“At first, the majority of clusters prioritized concerns such as food security, access to medications, educational support, alternative livelihoods, and organic farming. As a result, a part of the Fairtrade Premium budget was used to assist coordinated efforts to resolve these concerns,” the statement said.

According to Axelum, the “Fairtrade Premium” initiative and the complete program are audited by an independent auditor designated by Fairtrade, in addition to an internal audit conducted by the company’s audit department.

Currently, the firm said that it is negotiating Fairtrade rates for its desiccated coconut goods with a worldwide consumer behemoth.

As part of the Fairtrade agreement, Axelum will allocate a percentage of the proceeds from each sold product as “Fairtrade Premium,” which will be put in a separate bank account available to farmer clusters.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chan said that the corporation is devoted to social welfare activities aimed at rural communities.

“With this accreditation, our consumers can be certain that our goods are supported by a supply chain that conforms to the highest ethical standards, fostering a sustainable working environment free of exploitative labor and resource abuse,” Mr. Chan stated.

Axelum increased its net income by 20.4 percent to P145.60 million in the first quarter, owing to stronger sales. Its net sales climbed by 22.5 percent to P1.47 billion throughout the time.

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