Mountain Fruits – Pakistan
Mountain Fruits is a Fairtrade fruit and nut company in Pakistan working with isolated communities to provide the apricots for Traidcraft’s legendary Apricot Geobar.
There are 5,067 growers and 124 farming groups in in tiny, remote places across the Karakorum and Himalayan Mountain region of northern Pakistan producing apricots for our Geobars!
But the work doesn’t stop there. There are 100 women working in the factory where the apricots are washed, dried and graded – all to ensure we get the very best Fairtrade ingredients for our Geobars!
The company started in the 2000 with the support of the Agah Khan Rural Support Programme, and has been exporting apricots since 2001.
Meet the growers
Working with Traidcraft’s partners
Mountain Fruits acts as a buyer providing markets for the local produce, as well as training farmers in increasing production, solar drying of fruits and the processing of nuts.
Our partner Tropical Wholefoods, which imports the apricots for Traidcraft in the UK, works with Mountain Fruits to advise on how to organise systems for product handling, quality assistance and export controls.
The nice people at Tropical Wholefoods also provided technical assistance to Mountain Fruits when they were building their first new factory and warehousing facilities in 2003. Today, Mountain Fruits has purchased some more land and are constructing a new nut processing facility too.
Benefits from the Fairtrade Premium
Because the farmers receive a guaranteed minimum price for their Fairtrade products and the communities also receive a social premium over and above the product price, Mountain Fruits can provide all sorts of benefits for remote, rural communities.
We’re talking building a community hall, helping to provide schools, improving irrigation systems, buying a generator for one of the villages and even building a water tank.
These things make a massive difference to people’s lives!
Producing Fairtrade Apricots
Conditions in these remote and rural parts of Pakistan are extreme.
In the summer temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius and in winter temperatures drop below minus ten! Talk about chilly! Farming is only possible through forced irrigation systems that use the glacial melt waters from the Karakorum and Himalayan mountains.
It’s their tangy Hunza apricots and crunchy almonds that we use in our Geobars, but they grow cherries, mulberries, walnuts and apples too.
How many uses do the Apricots from Mountain Fruits have?
Four – sun dried apricots, apricot kernels, apricot kernel oil and apricot kernel stones. Every single part of the apricot is put to good use and is Fairtrade!