In July 2021, we transferred nearly half a million euros to farming families in Greece. The money is equal to 10 per cent of the turnover that we generated last season with the sale of Greek fruits. The families can do anything they want with it. However we were curious to know how they spent it, so we asked.
We worked together with 69 farming families in Greece in the 2020/21 season. They provided us with real oranges, lemons, clementines, melons, grapes and other products.
The past year, and especially the recent citrus season, were tremendously successful for us. If you want precise details, take a look at our annual report (read the article on our blog). Since the farming families in Greece are already working within the gebana model, they also benefited from this success.
In the gebana model, farming families share directly in gebana's turnover. For Greece, this means that the families receive 10 per cent of the money we earn from the sale of their citrus fruits, in addition to the regular organic and fair trade price, at the end of the season. The result was a sum of EUR 487’102 - or an average of EUR 6’400 per family - for the 2020/21 season. This is the equivalent of three months' salary, based on the average income in Greece.
All the families receive this money unconditionally, even those who deliver other products than citrus fruits. We recommend that they invest the money into their businesses or use it to support the environment, themselves or their employees. But it is ultimately their decision.
When the money was paid out mid-July, many families told us that they were going to invest in machines or had plans to upgrade their facilities and fields. We contacted several of these families at the beginning of October to ask what they actually did with the money. Here are some of the answers:
"I installed a new irrigation system that is connected through an Anavalos pump to a new acqueduct."
"I renovated the insulation and the heating in our house to lower our consumption and energy costs."
"I paid for my son's wedding and invested the rest in my business."
"I bought a new stone crusher, and right now I'm looking around for new plants to grow on my farm."
From Agia Triada
"I am using the money to pay the workers who are helping me cut the trees."
From N. Tiryntha
"I used the money from gebana to install a windmill on my land and bought a generator."
"I am currently negotiating the purchase of new fields and will later invest the money in cultivating these."
"I can't take care of all of my fields by myself. So I paid workers with the money and bought fertiliser to restore my abandoned fields."
"I invested in a well and a pump for my irrigation system."
"I used the money to pay for my eye surgery, which I urgently needed."
You can find the products of these farmers as well as many other fruits from Greece in our online shop.