Lobby says fair trade with Africa is better than aid
Published Sun, May 27th 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 26th 2018 at 20:37 GMT +3
African producers have called on western countries to adopt fair trade practices when dealing with the continent instead of resorting to aid.
This was the resolution from a three-day convention in Nairobi that brought together more than 400 delegates representing smallholder farmers, workers, producers and other stakeholders from across Africa.
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The sixth edition of the bi-annual Africa Fairtrade Convention (AFC) sought to explore how to improve trade conditions and global-markets access for the continent’s producers.
“This year’s convention was geared towards improving partnerships in trade for sustainable development and improving the livelihoods of farmers in Africa,” said Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o, Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa, the conveners.
Fairtrade is one of the global organisations that grant certifications to producers and farmers that meet certain standards including protection of workers’ rights and the environment.
More than 100 Kenyan producers have been certified and supported in the exports of crops like coffee, tea, cotton and cut flowers.
Delegates explored a mix of strategies that can help expand Africa’s share of the global supply chain. “There is a need for small scale farmers and cooperatives to find means of building and strengthening networks and building relationships across borders that can be leveraged for sustainable trade,” said Dr Nyong’o.