KENYA- Fairtrade International, a globally recognized and trusted sustainability label, has issued a call for collaboration between farmers, exporters, and government bodies to empower horticultural producers and enhance their competitiveness in the global export market.

Fairtrade Africa has played a crucial role in promoting responsible and sustainable business practices, paving the way for a fairer and more ethical future for everyone.

In his keynote address, Isaac Tongola, the Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa, emphasized the pivotal role of producers as essential partners in the journey towards a more ethical and sustainable global economy.

Speaking to a diverse audience of stakeholders, Tongola underscored the critical importance of collaboration between farmers, exporters, and government agencies in bolstering the competitiveness of horticultural producers in the global export market.

Tongola passionately echoed the sentiment that the fates of businesses and producers are intricately intertwined.

“The success of businesses is intrinsically tied to the success of producers,” he asserted, emphasizing the crucial need for collaboration, trust, and the development of long-lasting relationships.

Additionally, he highlighted Fairtrade Africa’s remarkable achievements, including the certification of 683 producer organizations across an impressive spectrum of 15 product categories.

He noted significant growth in Fairtrade premiums and the resilience displayed in the face of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the key highlights during this period was the remarkable 30% growth in Fairtrade premiums from 2020.

The cocoa sector significantly outperformed, registering an impressive 46% increase, while Flowers saw a substantial growth of 17%. Coffee, banana, and cane sugar also demonstrated their unwavering commitment to Fairtrade principles, with impressive growth rates of 12%, 3%, and 36%, respectively.

These outstanding figures underscore the growing importance of ethical and sustainable trade practices in the current global market.

Despite the unprecedented supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fairtrade Africa has demonstrated remarkable resilience and swift recovery.

Strengthened collaborations with National Fairtrade Organizations have been instrumental in driving over 90% of Fairtrade sales in Africa towards northern markets.

Engagements with commercial partners and national Fairtrade organizations have played a pivotal role in advancing commercial discussions and commitments, opening doors for potential sales.

Furthermore, Fairtrade Africa’s commitment to promoting gender equality within its initiatives is a shining example.

In 2021, a significant 46.5% of all workers within Fairtrade Africa were female, highlighting the organization’s strong commitment to empowering women in the agricultural sector.

The Fairtrade Global Awards Ceremony, which followed the captivating business summit, symbolized the enduring dedication of both Fairtrade International and Fairtrade Africa to recognizing and promoting ethical and sustainable trade practices on a global scale.