African Fairtrade farmers and workers gather in South Africa
Fairtrade Africa’s annual Africa Fairtrade Convention kicks off today in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The Africa Fairtrade Convention brings together African small-scale farmers, workers and other stakeholders from across the continent and beyond to improve the livelihoods of producers in Africa.
“The AFC is unique as it is organized by producers and workers themselves to address their needs for sharing and increasing knowledge,” says James Mwai, the Acting Executive Director for Fairtrade Africa.
During the four-day event producers and stakeholders discuss how trade conditions, market access and producer support can be improved.
South Africa was selected due to the country’s large wine estates, its rapid economic growth rate and its significance in Fairtrade. South Africa was the first market to promote Fairtrade products in Africa. In 2012 South Africans spent R 243 million on Fairtrade products and consumed 410,000 bottles of wine, 17 million cups (120 tons) of Fairtrade coffee and 2117 tons of Fairtrade chocolate.
“Join us as we embark upon our journey to unlock the Power of Many in Africa,” says Mwai.
Fairtrade Africa announces new Executive Director
Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o will join Fairtrade Africa as the new Executive Director from 1 December 2013. Dr. Nyong’o, a Kenyan, brings to this position a wealth of experience in the Fairtrade sector as well as hands-on management experience in the humanitarian and development sectors.
Prior to joining Fairtrade Africa, Dr. Nyong’o worked for over eight years as a Fairtrade auditor in Max Havelaar Switzerland and FLO-CERT GmbH of small farmers’ organizations and agricultural companies in Africa. Dr. Nyong’o has held senior management positions with several NGOs and has over 15 years work experience as a consultant and manager with civil society, private and public sectors.
Today, Fairtrade Africa supports over 700,000 farmers and workers through 410 producer organizations in 29 countries across the continent.