Organic fair trade, Partners boxed text

Office de la Haute Vallée du Niger (OHVN)

A government agency reporting to the Ministry of Agriculture, the main missions of the OHVN are to increase the production and productivity of local agricultural endeavours, improve the income of people living in the upper valley and promote the involvement of the public and private sectors in marketing, credit and training services. It is the primary partner of Huilerie Émile Noël in the framework of its organic fair trade sesame programme. The OHVN funds the equipment used for sesame production and logistics. Its teams of coordinators and trainers in the field provide support to farmers, including literacy training, technical monitoring, education on best practices, conducting sales transactions and so on. The management costs associated with these services are partially covered by Émile Noël.

Organic partners

Alongside the many French agro-organic SMEs, Huilerie Émile Noël is actively involved in the Bio Partenaire association, which was created in 2002 to serve as a forum for convergence, dialogue and projects between the worlds of organic agriculture and fair or social trade. Bio Partenaire notably supports its members in the creation of raw materials value chains, which it certifies as Organic Fair Trade (North-South exchange) or Organic Solidarity (North-North exchange) in accordance with a commitment charter and detailed set of standards.

For the organic fair trade sesame network, Émile Noël honours the charter's seven commitments...

• Compliance with at least one set of internationally-recognised rules on organic farming.

• Commitments based on sustainable contracts with the producers or producer organisations.

• Coverage of the cost of organic certification and fair-trade verifications.

• Permanent provision, using all available resources, of technical support; supervisory assistance; training; and help with organisation, management and local technicians' activities.

• Commercial policy based on the "contractual guarantee of minimum price", meaning fair remuneration of producers and employees so they can meet their personal needs and those of their families.

• Guaranteed commitments to respect basic and fundamental human rights, reject the exploitation of farmers, honour social and labour rights and protect children.

Development of sustainable agriculture and preservation of the local rural fabric.