This week will mark the first time that Fairtrade food producers from Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America will have the same voting powers as consumer countries in running the global Fairtrade movement.
Producers of tea, coffee, bananas and other goods will have half of the votes at Fairtrade International's annual General Assembly in Germany on Wednesday, June 12.
Previously, farmers and workers in the southern hemisphere had only three out of 22 votes at Fairtrade International's annual meeting. The majority were held by national Fairtrade organisations in consumer countries.
This month's General Assembly will see votes cast on Fairtrade International's accounts, a new board elected and decisions made on new applicants and markets.
Chief Adam Tampuri, chair of Fairtrade Africa and the Gbankuliso Cashew Farmers Association in Ghana, is convinced that this is a "breakthrough" saying that, “people in the south are not just beneficiaries but, for the first time, co-owners."