Fairtrade uses documentary movies to tell the story of farmers and the toll of a global crisis

Fairtrade has tonight launched a new documentary series highlighting how three farmers in different countries (Peru, Kenya and Indonesia) cope with uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic. During the next six months, audiences will get a glimpse into the farmers’ daily lives, and the challenges they and their communities are facing beyond the pandemic, including gender equality and uncertainty of a new generation of farmers.

First episode here.

Farmers is an unscripted documentary, meaning the stories are evolving at the same time as the lives of the protagonists. It will be released in three installments, with the first three episodes premiering on 29 June. The second round will be launched on 7 September, and the final one on 2 November.


The series is filmed in three locations: Indonesia, Peru and Kenya, offering a glimpse into how this global crisis has affected communities in diverse corners. Young local filmmakers with links to social activism are the ones filming and photographing what is happening on the ground, bringing the farmers’ stories to life embedded in their cultural context and with an authentic voice. We hope that the series makes more tangible the impact the pandemic had across the world, and how the people behind many of the products you see on the shelf have been affected.

“The depth of the global pandemic and its impact was different for all of us, but the nature of the shared experience highlights the idea that we are a global, interconnected community. The ‘Farmers’ series allows us to see into the lives of the people who work to produce our food, and to hear their stories told in their own voices.” says Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia New Zealand.


In Peru, we follow the life of Roberto, a banana farmer from the Fairtrade certified APBOSMAM cooperative, who is also a local radio host and restaurant owner. Above all, he is a pillar of strength to his community, despite contracting COVID-19 himself, and having to be quarantined. In a region heavily hit by the pandemic, his resilience is needed more than ever. “We all need to make time for society. People need us,” says Roberto referring to the importance of communities.

In Indonesia, we follow the life of Ponisih, a coconut sugar farmer from the Fairtrade certified KSP Karmatera cooperative. As a woman who defies the traditional place of women in the cooperative, she highlights the difference of those hit by COVID-19 in the city versus in rural farms. The challenges of securing the next generation of famers hits home, as her own family worries who will carry on their livelihood tradition.

The third story covers Caroline in Kenya, a coffee farmer and member of the Kapkiyai cooperative. Being part of a society that places high expectations on women being mothers yet not being one herself, Caroline is part of her cooperative’s women’s initiative where she finds strong support and purpose. This Farmers documentary series is funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ.) Several of the activities featured are part of the COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Fund launched by Fairtrade in 2020. The full documentary series can be streamed on its dedicated website.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES: Virginia Jones. Ph 0439 430 033 or virginia@fairtrade.com.au

Sign up