Trees for Life Program

The Trees for Life Program, which is implemented by the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA), provides olive and almond saplings to Palestinian farmers. The program covers the majority of the cost of the saplings; farmers pay a symbolic amount as a demonstration of their commitment. The PFTA General Assembly, which is composed of coops’ elected representatives, elects a committee of farmers to serve as the Trees for Life Committee. This group is responsible for identification of sapling recipients, distribution and implementation. It works within the priorities set by PFTA and targets young families, starter farmers, small farmers, women farmers, and farmers who have recently cultivated lands that are affected by the Israeli separation wall or whose fields or trees have been subject to destruction by the Israeli military.

Trees for Life helps to connect Palestinian farmers and producers of the fair trade movement in Palestine with the worldwide grassroots fair trade movement in a meaningful way. In solidarity with olive farmers denied their livelihood, grassroots solidarity organizations abroad have raised funds for the purchase of thousands of seedlings since 2006.

The history of the program:

Since the program started in 2006, the number of participating farmers has increased. While the trees provide significant financial benefits to the farmers and their families, perhaps the most important contribution has been the renewed sense of hope and commitment to the land.

 

Year/Season No. Of targeted locations Total No. Of distributed saplings Total No. of Beneficiaries
2006 6 3600 129
2007 21 12096 279
2008 16 7374 207
2009 12 6843 358
2010 8 9071 255
2011 14 9660 257
2012 21 10560 377
2013 13 8000 560
2014 14 13865 230
2015 20 16700 320
2016 20 13542 250
2017 11 14063 252
Total 125374 3154

Trees for Life program is funded by PFTA’s olive oil buyers, and a network of solidarity organizations in Europe, UK, USA and Canada. PFTA farmers extend sincere thanks and gratitude to these organizations and individuals who contributed through them to the livelihood sustainability of Palestinian farmers.