DFID’s Anna Gibson attends launch of 5th Africa Fairtrade Convention in Nairobi

Africa Fairtrade Convention
The 5th Africa Fairtrade Convention in Nairobi. photo: Twitter/annagibson

Yesterday, the Department for International Development’s (DFID) Private Sector Development Adviser Anna Gibson was at the launch of Africa Fair-trade Convention (AFC) in Nairobi.

The annual Convention, organised by Fairtrade Africa, brings together small-scale farmers, workers and related stakeholders including non-governmental organizations, governments, international traders and micro-financers from Africa and beyond with the aim of improving the livelihoods of agricultural producers in the continent.

The theme of the Convention is “Beyond the MDGs: Fairtade as a Partner for Sustainable Development” under which the contribution of trade partnerships in the sustainable development of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) will be discussed.

While at the convention, Ms Gibson took the opportunity to speak to Kennedy and Michael from Shared Interest, an ethical investment organisation which works to provide fair finance in disadvantaged communities, ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight which begins next week.

Convention attendees heard from speakers including Sireet Outgrowers Empowerment Project Company Ltd’s Victor Biwott, who told his audience that through Fairtrade, Sireet tea farmers have diversified into bee and dairy keeping as well as tending vegetable gardens.

He also said the company were becoming the centre for excellence,setting standards for farmers in Kenya.

Sireet OEP tea has a strong connection to the UK as it is used in more than 40 widely available blends from companies including Cafédirect and Traidcraft and Own Label Fairtrade tea from The Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Asda.

The Africa Fairtrade Convention is being held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and runs until the 26 February.