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Posted on Friday, 14 November 2014 13:05

Fairtrade Focuses on African Farmers

By Joan Nimarkoh

Photo©Thorsten Futh/LAIF-REAFor Fairtrade to make a major difference, its involvement in strengthening grassroots rural organisations is key, alongside a concerted effort to raise agricultural wages.

Africa plays a central role in Fairtrade's success. In 2013, 61% of all farmers and labourers working under Fairtrade provisions lived in africa according to a Fairtrade report.

Roughly 30% of global Fairtrade premiums are provided to African producers, but the prominence of the cocoa sector means that two thirds of those premiums are channelled to Ghana and kenya alone.

Within Africa, Fairtrade products are marketed in only two countries – South Africa and Kenya.

Fairtrade africa was established in 2005 as the african Fairtrade Network (AFN), an affiliate of the Fairtrade Foundation based in the UK.

There were 164 African certified producer organisations in 2006, which has grown to 300 today.

The entire Fairtrade enterprise covers an estimated 700,000 African farmers and workers.

Kenya is the leader in terms of workers in the Fairtrade domain, with 256,8000 in 2013, followed by Tanzania with 157,400.

In 2012, there were 82 certified labour and producer organisations in Kenya, 38 in South Africa and 55 in Côte d'Ivoire.

Fairtrade-certified products include bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, cut flowers, pineapples and tea.

African producer organisations received $25.5m from Fairtrade premiums in 2013. ● J. N.



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