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Empowering Palestinian Communities Through Food.

Submitted by coordinator on 7 June, 2016 - 11:34

Alfalfa is excited to introduce a new supplier, Canaan Fair Trade, who are providing us with organic Maftoul (Palestinian Couscous), wild Zaatar (Thyme), Organic Freekeh and traditional Olive Oil Soaps.

Canaan Fair Trade sells Palestine delicacies produced by over 1,700 small farmers, organized in village cooperatives and represented by the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA). They use the fair trade concept to empower marginalised Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture. To that end, they have built direct working relationships with these communities, paying sustainable prices for their agricultural products to ensure fair wages for labour along the supply chain.

Canaan Fair Trade has Canaan has embarked on a three year project to interview and members of all the over 50 PFTA cooperatives, both farmer and women's cooperatives. You can read more profiles on there website


Um Yasir & Um Yousef

Canaan Fair Trade Members of Women Coop from 'Anin Village

Making the Maftoul - Empowering Women

As women from the village gather on the communal terrace, the quiet surroundings of 'Anin village are transformed by a lively celebration of Maftoul rolling, story sharing, and a whole lot of laughter. “Maftoul season comes when we have little to do. It is a perfect enterprise for us because July and August are slow seasons so Maftoul rolling comes in this time and saves the day.”

Um Yasir and her friend and sister-in-law, Um Yousef, are part of the women’s cooperative producing Maftoul in ‘Anin village.  They believe that women have always worked together in their village.

Um Yusef says that now they are working with Canaan Fair Trade they also have opportunities to meet new people and exchange ideas and skills with them. She says “My life is better not just economically but also socially. When I visited Deir Ballout for example and the women’s coop there, I learnt about my own country. I learned how to make new dishes. I am having fun while improving my life financially.”

For Um Yasir, working in making Maftoul with the women and especially with her soul sister, Um Yousef, has also brought much change into her life. “Um Yousef and I became even closer and I found myself taking a leadership role among the women. As the elected representative of our women coop I started to feel like a productive individual in society and not a burden. I participate in something bigger than just my home.”