Fairtrade Africa is the independent, non-profit umbrella organisation of all Fairtrade certified producers in Africa.
Fairtrade Africa was established in 2005 as the African Fairtrade Network (AFN). Its first ever Members’ Meeting took place in Moshi, Tanzania in June 2006. Since its formation, Fairtrade Africa has grown consistently to become a major stakeholder within the Fairtrade system. The Fairtrade Africa Board and management established robust organisational and grassroots structures to improve support for producers and to encourage a greater voice for members in the organisation.
- Establishment of regional networks, product groups and country partnerships
- Name change to Fairtrade Africa to better reflect its strong affiliation with the global Fairtrade system
- Initiation of the Fairtrade Africa Forum, an annual meeting of producers and stakeholders to work together on development issues in Africa
- Move of the Secretariat from Moshi, Tanzania, to Nairobi, Kenya in June 2010
Mission and role
Fairtrade Africa represents its members in the global Fairtrade system to ensure that Fairtrade standards and policy reflect their needs. Through primary structures such as product groups, country partnerships and regional networks, the organisation ensures the voice of the African farmers is well represented.
Fairtrade Africa also helps its members increase their productivity – and their capacity to trade – by providing technical, organisational and financial support.
Thirdly, Fairtrade Africa actively stimulates intra-African trade opportunities for its members through networking and partnerships with regional and sub-regional bodies within Africa.
Finally, Fairtrade Africa promotes trade justice in Africa to champion socio-economic development on the continent.
Fairtrade Africa Membership
Fairtrade Africa is owned by its members, who are African producer organisations certified against international Fairtrade standards producing traditional export commodities, such as coffee, cocoa, tea, cotton, bananas, mango; and non-traditional commodities, including shea butter and rooibos tea.
The Members Meeting (MM) held every two years is the highest decision making body. All members have the right to participate and vote for the election of the Fairtrade Africa Board through their regional representatives at the MM.
Fairtrade Africa works through primary structures which enable members to have a strong voice in the governance and management of the organisation. Currently there are four regional networks: Eastern Africa Network (FTA-EAN) based in Nairobi, Kenya; West Africa Network (FTA-WAN) based in Accra, Ghana and Southern Africa Network (FTA-SAN) based in Cape Town, South Africa; Northern Africa Network (FTA-NAN) based in Tunis, Tunisia (under establishment). The Fairtrade Africa secretariat is located in Nairobi, Kenya.
By May 2011, Fairtrade Africa membership amounted to over 260 Fairtrade certified producer organizations in 26 countries of Africa, reaching out to over 500,000 farmers across the country.
For more information on Fairtrade Africa, you can visit their website at http://www.fairtradeafrica.net/
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