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Business News of Monday, 14 March 2022

Source: GNA

Fairtrade Africa engages cocoa cooperatives to boost production

A happy cocoa farmer A happy cocoa farmer

Fairtrade Africa, a global movement that tackles the injustices of conventional trade, has engaged stakeholders to assess the progress of implementation of the West Africa Cocoa Programme (WACP).

The WACP build farmers’ understanding of child rights and women’s equality while supporting the implementation of critical efforts like gender policies and child labour monitoring and remediation systems that have positive effect in their communities

The joint planning and review meeting held in Kumasi was attended by key stakeholders from COCOBOD, Forestry Commission, Fair-Trade Ghana Network, Tony’s Chocolonely, Department of Social Welfare and AVSF, an NGO that supports smallholder farming.

The participants used the occasion to align their 2022 work plans of the Programme.

The WACP was established in 2016 and had since strengthened producer organizations in Africa.

A monitoring report as well as an independent evaluation study of the programme conducted in 2021 showed a significant improvement in strengthening organisations through capacity building received from Fairtrade.

Among the systems that have been strengthened in the beneficiary organizations are internal management systems, farm record keeping, financial management, climate change, child protection and governance processes.

Mr Abubakar Afful, the Team Leader, Cocoa Ghana for Trade Africa, speaking at the meeting, highlighted the impact of Fairtrade on strengthening producer organisations in line with the Fairtrade Africa 2021-2025 strategy.

The five-year strategy focuses on product and market development, policy and advocacy, sustainable farming systems and transformed and strengthened producer organisations.

Mr Afful called on producer organisations and stakeholders to work together and be ready for the implementation of the European Union regulation on Human Right and Environmental Due Diligence.

Producers used the occasion to provide feedback on the significant role of Fairtrade in building producer resilience through organizational strengthening, climate smart approaches as well as income and product diversification.

Stakeholders assessing the progress of implementation of the WACP, called for deepening collaboration among cooperatives and organisations to enhance efficiency, increased synergy and impacts for the farmers.

They assured producers and Fairtrade Africa of their maximum support and called on the cooperatives to take advantage of the many programmes being run by their outfit.