Fairtrade secures Sh1.6b to support climate change, farmers welfare
What you need to know:
- The funding obtained from Finland will be channeled to empower farmers and workers attain better livelihoods.
- The organisation is keen on engaging the youth to embrace agriculture to attain food security in the future.
Farmers and workers in tea, flower and coffee sectors will benefit better prices and support to combat climate change, after Fairtrade Africa, an organisation that champions good agricultural practices, secured Sh1.6 billion for its African market to be used over the next four years.
The funding obtained from Finland will be channeled to educating farmers and workers on their rights, monitoring compliance of fair trade practices by employers, as well as supporting sustainable agricultural practices, to mitigate impacts of climate change.
Fairtrade Africa’s acting executive director, Oscar Ochieng, said the money will be used to empower farmers and workers attain better livelihoods through building resilient agro-based trade systems and better pay.
He spoke as the organisation launched a four-year programme dubbed Dignified Opportunities Nurtured through Trade and Sustainability (Donuts), upon securing the funding.
“Fairtrade Africa is implementing a four-year development cooperation programme that seeks justice and fairness through exercising rights and freedoms. In East Africa, the programme will be supporting farmers in flowers and coffee sectors a lot," Mr Ochieng said.
"We are looking at the tough issue of climate change which is now a thorn in the flesh, how to support living wage so that every worker and farmer employed by hired labour like flower firms is able to access decent incomes where they can live comfortably,” he added.
He also said that the organisation is keen on engaging the youth to embrace agriculture to attain food security in the future.
“With this funding we are expected to roll out projects that will support combatting climate change such as reforestation, diversification of farming and other activities,” he also said.
Fairtrade works through a model where its members have to comply with set standards including minimum pay to workers, assuring safe working conditions and practices across supply chains, while sourcing for better markets for produce.
“Someone in Europe wants to pick up a product and know that it has been fairly produced and everyone involved in the production process have been well remunerated,” Mr Ochieng said.