African producers set to increase their bargaining power
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Africa Fairtrade Convention (AFC) will take place in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 25 to 29 November 2013 with the aim of developing partnerships for sustainable enterprise growth. The annual convention was initiated in 2010 as a platform for African producers (not limited to Fairtrade), traders, policy makers, partner organisations and other stakeholders to discuss how to improve value chains, trade relations and conditions to improve livelihoods for farmers and workers across Africa.
“The AFC is unique as it is organised by producers and workers themselves to address their needs for sharing and increasing knowledge,” says James Mwai, the Acting Executive Director for Fairtrade Africa. The keynote speaker will be the Chief Director Department of Trade and Industry for the South African Government, Mr. Jeffrey Ndumo. Other speakers include Lauren Hirst the Business Director for Ogilvy Earth, and Sikhumbuzo Sabelo Dlamini, an economist representing the Swaziland Sugar Association. Participants will take part in producer workshops, a Fairtrade business networking forum, the general assembly, Fairtrade wine tasting and more. Field visits to wine plantations will also be open to participants.
Following successful editions in Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia, AFC is becoming a key event to the agricultural development agenda. Today, Fairtrade Africa supports over 700,000 farmers and workers through 410 producer organisations in 29 countries across the continent. Due to South Africa’s large wine estates, its rapid economic growth rate and its significance in several Fairtrade supply chains, South Africa was selected as the conference country of this year’s edition. South Africa was the first market to promote Fairtrade products in Africa. In 2012 South Africans spent ZAR243m (over €17.7m) on Fairtrade products and consumed 410,000 bottles of wine, 17 million cups (120 tons) of Fairtrade coffee and 2117 tons of Fairtrade chocolate. More information is available from www.africafairtradeconvention.net.
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