The 2020 Fairtrade Fortnight 'She Deserves' campaign focused on cocoa, the special role women farmers play in the journey towards living incomes whilst highlighting the gross inequalities in the multi-billion pound global chocolate industry.
Leocadie Voho, a cocoa producer from Côte d'Ivoire, visited Scotland with the Fairtrade Foundation as part of a UK-wide tour. Meanwhile, Aubrey Meki Chilenje and Nduzani Zaya joined us from Kasinthula Cane Growers' Association* in Malawi to tell us about the farming of another key ingredient that goes into many of our favourite treats: sugar.
We were also pleased to co-host a screening of a new Rwandan coffee film with our partner, the Challenges Group, during the fortnight. The film details how the Rwandan coffee industry is developing as well as the ways Scotland can continue to support the industry. It also features last year's Fairtrade Fortnight visitor, Aimable Nshimiye.
Aubrey and Nduzani head north
Aubrey and Nduzani travelled to Scotland on 28 February, kickstarting their tour with visits to Aberlour Primary School, Speyside High School (Aberlour) and The Gordon Schools (Huntly). In the evening, the guests enjoyed Fairtrade snacks, hot drinks and engaging conversations (some even in Chichewa!) with Huntly locals at the Ethical Gift Shop and Refillery. Nduzani and Aubrey were then treated to a very specially-curated, locally-sourced meal and Divine Chocolate dessert at Huntly's Neep and Okra community cafe.
Continuing their busy schedule, our Malawian visitors spoke to a fantastic audience in Elgin on 29 February, giving first-hand accounts on how Kasinthula use the Fairtrade Premium, how Fairtrade recognises women and the challenges for farmers in Malawi. We learned that challenges range from extreme weather to hungry elephants!
On the same day in Edinburgh, Leocadie Voho (pictured above) was a special guest at a #SheDeserves event in Edinburgh, where she joined a panel consisting of Jackie Kay, Adjoa Andoh, Amy Oroko (Matthew Algie), and Twimukye Macline Mushaka (the Poverty Alliance) to underline the lifestyle changes Fairtrade can provide to producers, and to highlight the special role we can play in utilising our purchasing power to support Fairtrade. The previous day, Leocadie and the Fairtrade Foundation's Education Officer, Claire Arnott, spoke to teachers about Fairtrade at Scotdec in Edinburgh.
Moving into the second week of the fortnight, Aubrey and Nduzani made their way down the east coast of Scotland, visiting Ferryden Primary School and Montrose Academy before being welcomed by the town's Fair Trade Forum at a community event in the evening. Our visitors met with Sally Romilly from the One World Centre and S1 pupils from Morgan Academy in Dundee on the 3 March before travelling to Edinburgh for the Cross Party Group, aptly held in the Scottish Parliament's Livingstone Room, on Wednesday 4 March.
Aubrey and Nduzani continued their busy schedule by visiting Bargarran Primary School in Erskine and Rainbow Turtle in Paisley (pictured above) on the 5th.
On their final tour day in Scotland, Friday 6 March, Aubrey and Nduzani visited Law Primary School in North Berwick then met young people from Leith's Pulse of the Place group at the Edinburgh City Chambers. To round off Fairtrade Fortnight, the guests spoke at the Scotland Malawi Partnership's Agriculture and Food Security Forum.
We would like to thank all the supporters and our partners who welcomed Nduzani and Aubrey, attended an event or campaigned for Fairtrade during the fortnight. On leaving Scotland, Nduzani said: "thank to everyone who welcomed us to Scotland. Please continue supporting Fairtrade."
Find out more
*Kasinthula Cane Growers' Association first received Fairtrade certification in 2002 and now sells its entire production of around 8,000 tonnes of sugar to Fairtrade buyers, including Divine Chocolate who supported this trip.
Read about Aubrey and Nduzani's visit to Divine Chocolate's head office in London.
Read Nduzani's story: How Divine champions women farmers.
Help us continue building global Fair Trade links
We were grateful to have the support of Divine Chocolate for part of this tour and the Scottish Government who provide the Forum with core funding. However, a proportion of our work and activities such as producer tours rely on donations and income from membership fees, and we are very grateful to those who can contribute these ways. For more information on joining the Forum as a member, please see this page and to find out how to donate, please see here. Alternatively, you can call us on 0141 353 5611 to speak to a member of our staff team about how to support our work.