I’m honoured to share in joy with a nation that is dedicated to driving a fairer and more sustainable economy.
Congratulations to Scotland, on a decade of ensuring fairness and standing for fairness.
Over the years, you have ensured better prices, decent working conditions, fair terms of trade, as well as supporting workers’ rights.
Indeed, you have proven fairness can be a lifestyle. To all the communities across Scotland, producers are most grateful for your support to ensure Fair Trade.
Your support has contributed to many developmental projects in my community, as well as Fair Trade community and producer nation.
Asunafo and its community is living proof that Fair Trade can transform life into it.
Ten years of certification, 10 years of Fair Trade certification has transformed what was a small cooperative producing about a thousand tonnes of cocoa beans a year, into a major operations, operating over 15 times the amount.
Fair Trade has supported the Union and its producers with programmes and projects. This has helped the community to establish village savings and loans, women leadership school, youth committee management, and agro-forestry.
Through Fairtrade premium the Union has invested so much in productivity enhancement activity, where we train our farmers on good agricultural processes, processes which have helped them to grow cocoa sustainably and responsibly.
This has helped our producers to increase their yield and improve their family livelihood. As part of our productivity enhancement activities, the Union has distributed about 955,000 Cocoa seedlings and 650,000 tree seedlings. As well as agro-chemicals, agro-inputs and so on.
All these are to help them increase their productivity.
Our social inclusion activities also seek to support children in a way of fighting child labour, eliminating child labour, will provide needed equipment like stationary, bicycles, uniform, bags, birth certificates, health insurance, and so on, to improve their health and education.
To our income generating activities, about 46% of our producers are women. And over the years, a lot of efforts has been made to improve their empowerment both socially and economically. In view of this, we’ve trained about 1288 women in beads making, soap, breadmaking and vegetable growing. We also have 100 weeks programme that seeks to give a little talking to women every week to support their livelihood and their additional income.
Also, the Union has a poultry farm that has about 1560 birds, producing averagely 47 crates of eggs every day, water projects, which is ongoing, cocoa depot that has been hired to our LBC mutual support scheme that supports our producers financially to help them finance their farming and also their children’s education.
To our community development, 140,000 exercise books have been distributed to students in the various communities. We have nine teachers accommodation facilities, 32 school projects, various toilet facilities, potable water, community centres where our producers have their meetings. As well as health accommodation for our health facilities.
To our social intervention, we’ve provided about two or three motorbikes, as well as police posts to the police, health screening for our producers and the various communities that are around, as well as potable water in various schools.
Someone may ask me why Scotland should support Fair Trade and also ensure fairness.
Your continued support to Fair Trade and ensuring fairness in trade, will increase empowerment programme for producers, community development and overall better living conditions for producers.
It is our hope to share with you even a century of Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation. I hope other countries will join this great initiative to benefit more people who trade in ensuring a fair, clean future for all. Thank you.
Sandra Cobbinah, Asunafo Cocoa Farmers
25 February 2023