First Fairtrade olive oil gives hope to Palestinian farmers

June 4, 2010

In 2003, after years of living abroad in the U.S., Dr. Nasser Abufarha returned to his native land of Palestine for research related to his PhD dissertation on anthropology. What at first began as a standard academic visit eventually proved more extraordinary than he initially imagined, and now a region marked by political conflict and occupation has a new destiny due to his visionary work.

After witnessing the isolated conditions Palestinian oil farmers were working in during his return, Dr. Abufarha envisioned an idea to help farmers overcome the broad challenges they faced.

“From what I knew of Palestine, and the main challenge of being under Israeli occupation, it essentially was an issue of market access. I learned a lot from the US especially learning how modern economy works. However, I naturally have always had a deep connection with Palestinian people given it is where I grew up so I always tried to think of ways as to how I can employ this knowledge to help people who are locked hostage in this conflict. Farms in Palestine are primarily owned by local families; this has been their means of survival throughout many centuries. I realized the concept of fair trade development could be a vehicle for which to overcome the difficult trading conditions of Palestinian farmers.”


Dr. Nasser Abufarha

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