Themed ‘Partnerships for Impact’, the bi-annual convention brought together smallholder farmers, workers, non-governmental organizations, governments, agricultural producers, international traders and micro-financiers from Africa and beyond to discuss how to improve trade.
Speaking during the opening of the Fairtade convention at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies Fairtrade Africa Executive Director, Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o said This year’s convention was 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,” said, Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o. Adding that “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, and boreholes among others. This improves the welfare of the communities”.
One Farmer from Kenya Mr.Simon Kiprono underscored gains they’ve accrued from Fairtrade interventions in the region they come from,noting that through Fairtade they’re adding value to their coffee farming in Kipkelion region of Kenya South Rift in Kericho County.
“Through the exposure and capacity building we’ve gained from Fairtrade,we have empower women through building of biomass digesters for their domestic use thus promoting green energy in our region,we’ve also encouraged and mainstreamed the youth to farming as they’re finding it profitable as a result of market access advanced by Fairtrade”Said Mr.Kiprono.
Adding that through Fairtade support they’ve a coffee brand in the market known as Zawadi Coffee brand which is gaining popularity worldwide as an authentic Kenyan Coffee brand adhering to Fairtrade practice.
Fairtrade is one of the top-tier global organizations that grant 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. Since 2005, Fairtrade Africa has supported more than 100 producer organizations in Kenya and over 500 in Africa.