This study is an assessment of the benefits and costs of Fairtrade certification of sugarcane in Vanua Levu, Fiji, from the perspective of both cane growing communities and donors. In early 2011, the Labasa Cane Producers Association (LCPA) on the island of Vanua Levu, Fiji became Fairtrade certified, becoming the first organisation in Fiji to receive this recognition. LCPA collected it first Fairtrade Premium funds from Fiji’s sole sugar buyer, the British firm Tate and Lyle Sugars Limited (TLS), and sugarcane farmers and their communities in Vanua Levu began to reap benefits from the Premium funds. These benefits consisted of subsidies to farm inputs and community development projects targeting essential infrastructure, education and sanitation. Allocation of funds was democratically decided by LCPA’s Board and General Assembly, both of which are composed solely of sugar cane growers. Furthermore, an environmental plan was put in place to phase out the use of illegal herbicide and to spray and store existing herbicides safely. These significant benefits will continue for the foreseeable future and are in accordance with the three principles of Fairtrade certification: social development, economic development and environmental development.

© Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) 2013