The purest fair-trade rice and tea from Laos
Lao Farmers’ Products, or LFP for short, is a small, socially-responsible company that purchases rice, tea and other raw materials from local farmers’ groups. It supports tea farmers and rice producers in Laos in the production, packaging and bringing to market of their fair-trade rice and fair-trade tea.
LFP is the only company in Laos that works exclusively with the raw materials of local farmers. Most other companies import (cheaper) raw materials from neighbouring countries. Furthermore, LFP provides work to a great many people (women in particular) at their processing plant in Vientiane.
Fair-trade tea: only the loveliest leaves
The ‘mother trees’ of almost every variety of tea in the world grow in the north of Laos. The wild tea from these ancient tea forests (info in Dutch) is of exceptional quality. LFP supports local farmers in taking advantage of this.
Since 2007 they have been planting tea gardens with cuttings and seeds from the tea forests. Only the topmost leaves of each plant are picked. This results in fair-trade tea of the highest quality. And a better income for the producers in turn.
With the help of LFP the farmers were able to buy a drying facility, allowing them to dry the precious tea leaves themselves. Once a month LFP collects the dried tea from each village. The organisation then packages the tea and exports it.
Fair-trade and biodiverse rice
It’s not only tea producers that LFP unites and supports. It also looks out for the rice growers of Laos. They grow the most popular rice varieties as well as an extremely wide array of other rice varieties (info in Dutch). When it comes to fair-trade rice, they are able to provide unique quality with these genetically diverse varieties. This allows them to hold their ground in competition with the dominant players of the international market.
LFP & Oxfam
- Supported by government subsidies, in the period from 2013 to 2019 Oxfam-Wereldwinkels invested in:
- the strengthening of farming associations and the improvement of LFP’s business management;
- the improvement of the quality of the whole commercial chain for rice and tea, by means of training courses and the renovation of their processing facilities;
- training in organic production and subsequent organic certification.
- With the support (financial among other types) of the Oxfam-Wereldwinkels Partner Fund (info in Dutch), the tea producers received the internationally recognised organic certification in 2015.
- By purchasing fair-trade-certified rice and tea from LFP, Oxfam is helping to protect traditional varieties of rice and tea that are threatened with extinction (info in Dutch).
- LFP’s fair-trade rice and tea has been available at your local Oxfam-Wereldwinkel since 1997.