Renwick Rose biography
Renwick Rose, Association of Caribbean Farmers in the Windward Islands
Despite his 40 years of work in civil society development and trade justice, Renwick Rose is not a globally recognised name. Yet, among the small farming communities of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean, he is a celebrated figurehead.
In the 1990s, Rose spotted the value and necessity of organisation and cooperation at a time when the banana trade was entering a downwards spiral. He earned the trust of small-scale farmers who were struggling to make it onto the supermarket shelves and guided them through the process of Fair Trade Certification. The establishment of the Windward Island National Farmers' Network Association (WINFA) has generated security and progress which radiates out into the wider community. Through their partnership with Fair Trade, the WINFA farmers earn a premium of a dollar for each box of bananas, which is invested democratically back into the community. In this way, the social, educational and trade infrastructure of the islands has begun to bloom.
Rose's attempt at retirement in 2010 was thwarted by the devastating impact of the hurricane that destroyed farms across St Lucia and St Vincent. He returned immediately to lead the farming community on the uphill slope towards recovery, and, with his support, Windward Island bananas were back on the supermarket shelves within eight months.
In 2011, Renwick was the winner of the Guardian International Development Achievement Award, in recognition of his work on behalf of the Fair Trade movement and WINFA. (courtesy of Guardian).