Fairtrade Launches on the Kenyan Market

04 June 2013

Fairtrade International has launched Fairtrade Eastern Africa, an organization that markets and promotes use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the Eastern African region. It’s a major step in enabling African farmers and workers to sell their products on fair terms in their own home market.

The formal launch took place on 8 May, with Andrea Richert (New Markets Manager at Fairtrade International) signing the agreement with Rachel Wandia, Market Development Manager at Fairtrade Eastern Africa, and Nigel Tricks, Chair of the Eastern Africa board and Country Director for Oxfam.

Preliminary market research results indicate that 86% of Kenyan consumers when asked would look out for the FAIRTRADE Mark when shopping, while 73% would be prepared to pay extra for a product with the label on it. This is a clear indication that Kenyans are willing to support for a trade system that is based on justice and fairness. Dormans SAFARI Fair Trade coffee and Cadbury Fairtrade Dairy Milk are already on sale in Kenya. Dormans purchases coffee from three major Kenyan Fairtrade cooperatives for the Safari blend: Rumukia, Ndumberi and Gikanda. Four new tea lines will soon be hitting the supermarket shelves too.

The launch event attracted over 200 people, including producers, government representatives, retailers and non-profit organizations. In a keynote speech, Mr Mugo Kibati, Director General of Kenya’s Vision 2030 acknowledged the important role of Fairtrade in achieving Vision 2030. “Vision 2030 is not the government’s vision but every Kenyan’s vision and Fairtrade understands this,” Mugo said. “Fairtrade is aligned to this blueprint as it is creating millions of quality jobs for Kenyans and it is bridging this gap by creating decent occupations that provide a decent living”.

Fairtrade farmers and workers in Kenya received over 6 million in Fairtrade premium money last year, to invest in business and development projects of their choice. In Iriaini tea factory for example, the Fairtrade Premium has been used to build schools and to purchase equipment for value addition, while in Rukuriri Tea Factory in Embu, the farmers invested in an Artificial Insemination (A.I.) project to improve breeding resulting in increased milk production, as part of a diversification project.

Find out more about Fairtrade Eastern Africa on their website: http://www.fairtrade.or.ke/

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