Fair Dinkum Fair Trade



According to the Cambridge dictionary, fair trade is a way of buying and selling products that makes certain that the people who produce the goods receive a fair price. Sounds simple enough, however, there are only a few major fair-trade organisations that go beyond this.

There are many organisations that have their own fair-trade process and certification. This includes some of the necessary standards, like fair pricing for farmers, and can sometimes be a statement rather than a commitment to action.

…standards are carefully established through a long process of consultations..

Some organisations may only certify specific materials or ingredients or work with communities exclusively or represent a selection of brands.

Then there are certified fair-trade organisations that carry a fair-trade mark. Their standards are carefully established through a long process of consultations with farmers and workers, traders, NGOs, academics, and labelling organisations.

In essence, fair trade must meet high global standards of economic growth, social stability and environmental protection..

The process of becoming certified by a fair-trade organisation that carries a fair-trade mark is extremely costly and very time consuming for producers and as such can be viewed as ‘unfair’.

In essence, fair trade must meet high global standards of economic growth, social stability and environmental protection.

This includes:

· Employment is chosen freely

· Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected

· Working conditions are safe and hygienic

· Enforced child labour shall not be used (remembering that in India and in Africa farms are family enterprises, and children have their duties in support of their family)

· Living wages are paid

· Working hours are reasonable and not excessive

· No discrimination is practised

· Regular employment is provided

· No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed

· There should be sustainable trading relationships, based on trust, transparency, equity, accountability and continuity. These should be long term, based on mutual advantage, which includes price stability

· There should be a social and cultural emphasis within and external to the business that benefits the wider community

· The whole chain of product supply is covered, from farmer to retailer

Kokonut Pacific developed “Fair Dinkum Fair Trade" when no other suitable set of standards existed...

Kokonut Pacific is associated with not one but three fair-trade models:

· Fair Dinkum Fair Trade

· FairTSA

· NASAA Social Justice Policy

Kokonut Pacific developed “Fair Dinkum Fair Trade" when no other suitable set of standards existed in response to a need to express what was happening on the ground at a ‘village’ level. As a result, Kokonut Pacific was proactive in implementing the fair-trade principles with its DME® technology since its inception in 1994. For this we developed our own logo to reflect our passion for justice and fair trade.


We have used the phrase "Fair Dinkum" because it is an Australian expression meaning "the real thing" or "absolutely genuine". Our vision for economic transformation of remote island communities is taking the current island scenario, based on copra exports, to the potential of a sustainable development scenario achievable by the production of high-quality Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO).



Fair Dinkum Fair Trade ensures:

· A fair price for the goods produced

· Long-term contracts which provide real security.

· Supporting producers by helping them gain the knowledge and skills they need to develop their businesses and operate successfully in the global economy.


We consider all of these to be good indicators of our commitment to full and fair trade.

Our vision of "empowering" local communities in the Pacific, predominantly the Solomon Islands, is being implemented by:

· Introducing a process (DME®) which results in more than a five-fold increase in the value of coconut exports compared to copra.

· Making more effective use of an existing sustainable resource with 'zero-waste' potential.

·Dramatically increasing rural employment in a gender-neutral manner

· Helping set up complete systems (such as training, extension services, oil purchase and quality control) to ensure full support for otherwise isolated producers

· Purchasing all the DME® VCO offered for export and finding markets for this oil

· Arranging for (and in some cases, funding) the Organic Certification of Producers and Packers by internationally accredited agency, NASAA

· Providing technical support by regular email communication and skype

· Actively promoting the enormous health benefits of VCO domestically and internationally – by speaking at events, advertising, and by attending organic trade shows

· Promoting the downstream use of VCO in skin care products, local soap making and as a sustainable diesel biofuel.

We consider all of these to be good indicators of our commitment to full and fair trade.


Linking fair trade with organic certification had always been our dream.

Our practice of ‘Fair Dinkum, Fair Trade’ received third party endorsement and certification from The Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA) in May 2014.


FairTSA is the fair-trade standard holder for organic certifiers: an open system where every ISO 65 accredited certifier can become a collaborating partner. Linking fair trade with organic certification had always been our dream.



Social justice and social rights are an integral part of organic agriculture and processing.

We are Certified by Australia’s leading certifier, National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) This means our entire operation, from the palm tree to final packaging, is inspected annually by an independent third party body which reviews our processes and assesses our social justice practice. We have passed with flying colours since we were certified back in 2005!

Melanesian culture respects individual rights along with social responsibilities to care for family and for the land.

It has taken many years for the FairTSA to be formed and we are delighted that NASAA is a ‘collaborating partner’ with them.

The way it all works for Kokonut Pacific is that the village communities of the Solomon Islands are extended families in the traditional style. Melanesian culture respects individual rights along with social responsibilities to care for family and for the land. Time for food, gardening, fishing, child care, community and church plus a culture of sharing resources means that abusive worker/employer relations such as exist in some other countries are not seen.

The work is safe, pleasant and accompanied by chatter and laughter.

If someone is not happy with what they are doing they will simply quit and go back to their subsistence activities. DME® VCO production units provide cash incomes for women and youth in remote villages where no other income-earning opportunities exist. The work is safe, pleasant and accompanied by chatter and laughter. The workers are typically members of an extended family and a proportion of their income is generously shared amongst the community for the common good, as is customary.

The only formal employer with more than ten full-time employees is Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands Ltd (KPSI) which operates in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, under modern work practices. A savings scheme has been established by KPSI staff to help individuals achieve their goals. There is easy open communication within the team.

So many people are benefitting from these small business enterprises.

Individual DME® producers might well employ more than ten different people during a week but that is the beauty of the process - individuals might choose to work for one two or three days per week depending on their other household family needs, their commitments to the community, and their farming and fishing activities. In addition, each producer is buying coconuts from surrounding farmers who have relatively small coconut groves and engage casual family labour as the need arises. So many people are benefitting from these small business enterprises.

The work done by fair-trade organisations highlights the positive changes, as well as the negative reality that drive us as consumers to do better.

We at home can all contribute to the economic, social and environmental goals, locally and globally just by making thoughtful, educated decisions about what we consume. The work done by fair-trade organisations highlights the positive changes, as well as the negative reality that drive us as consumers to do better.

Every time you choose a product carrying a Fair Trade ‘mark’ you are making the choice to give a fair go to farmers, workers and their communities in some of the world’s poorest countries.