Juan Bravo, President of the INC.
Formed in 2007, Liberation Foods CIC has been, from the outset, a community interest company, with a mission to solely trade directly with smallholder farmers and ensure they have a prominent voice in the direction and decision-making of the company. Since then, we have been on an interesting journey of development, discovery and relationship building with numerous farming cooperatives across the world.
The International Nut Cooperative (INC), also formed in 2007 by 5 smallholder farmer and gatherer Associations, has been a shareholder of Liberation from its beginnings and we have developed a profound and enduring relationship with them, the strength and importance of which most recently withstood the test of the global pandemic last year. Tomy Mathews, INC member and valued colleague said of the alliance “if there had been more relationships like the one between FTAK (Fairtrade Alliance Kerala) and Liberation, farmers´ futures may have been saved”. And we, in turn, have benefited greatly from the skills, resilience, hard work and dedication of the INC members.
We are therefore very pleased to confirm, whilst in the midst of Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, that the International Nut Cooperative have recently bought further shares of Liberation, on top of the majority of shares they owned previously. Farmers will now have an even more powerful voice in shaping the company, their participation will be transformative for future initiatives and the work between producers, sellers and buyers will be even more collaborative. We will talk of ´us´ rather than ´them´. And we continue to edge closer to a vision of true equality and the mission with which Liberation began.
Liberation’s MD, Dan Binks, explained: “We are really excited about this announcement; we are taking the significant next steps on our journey of having a fully integrated, ethical and sustainable value chain that shares the values of the community and the smallholder farmer co-operatives, that now form the majority share of Liberation.”
Juan Bravo, President of the INC, said “it is a great victory that has cost lots of work, lots of time, lots of effort and lots of people and it was worth it to celebrate that we are in this position now.”
Afterall, the success of Liberation is wholly dependent on the success of the farming co-operatives. We would like to thank our partners and customers who have been part of the journey so far and look forward to continuing to develop our ties with smallholder farmers and an exciting new chapter in our story.