More than 400 delegates comprising representatives of smallholder farmers, workers, producers and other stakeholders from across the continent convened in Nairobi yesterday to discuss how to improve trade conditions and global-markets access during the sixth edition of the Africa Fairtrade Convention (AFC).
The delegates discussed a mix of strategies that they can adapt to gain a share in the global supply chains and markets. The delegates likewise explored ways of strengthening networks, building relationships and developing new trade frontiers for sustainable trade. The annual convention aims to improve livelihoods through Fairtrade alliances.
“This year’s convention is geared towards improving partnerships in trade for Sustainable Development Goals and improving the livelihoods of Fairtrade certified farmers in Africa. I urge players to take advantage of our global recognition to penetrate new markets and receive better earnings from their produce,” Fairtrade Africa Executive Director, Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o said during the three-day event.
Themed ‘Partnerships for Impact’, the bi-annual convention brought together smallholder farmers, workers, non-governmental organizations, governments, agricultural producers, international traders and micro-financers from Africa and beyond to discuss how to improve trade.
Fairtrade is one of the top-tier global organizations that grants certifications to producers and farmer organizations that meet certain standards. These standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment. Products with Fairtrade mark sell at premium price at the market thus allowing producers and farmers to earn higher income from their produce.
“Fairtrade has made it possible for smallholder farmers to move large volumes of products to the market. The extra shillings we pay on top of the Fairtrade minimum price is invested by the farmers in social, environmental and economic projects in their communities. Such projects include schools, health centers, boreholes among others. This improves the welfare of the communities,” Dr. Nyong’o said.
Since 2005, Fairtrade Africa has supported more than 100 producer organizations in Kenya and over 500 in Africa. These producer organizations traditionally export commodities such as coffee, tea, cotton, cut flowers, bananas, pineapples, mango and non-traditional commodities to foreign markets.
Some of the organizations that attended the event include , ECOOKIM from CDI, Daltex from Egypt and Iriani KTDA Tea Factory. The event was held at KENYA SCHOOL OF MONETARY STUDIES
For more information, contact:
Westcom Point, Mahiga Mairu Rd
PO Box 3308 – 00200