Fairtrade a non – profit umbrella organization in Ghana and Africa which seeks to promote social protection within the cocoa value chain has enlightened journalist on how to give a clear reportage and understanding on cocoa farming and agricultural in general.
Fairtrade Africa is a network of producer organisations which seeks to empower producers to fight for change, by ensuring fair pricing. The organisation also works to address other issues relating to the cocoa sector in the area of social protection, climate change and good agricultural practices.
As an organisation, Fairtrade works to build capacity of farmers in identifying child social protection issues and working together with appropriate organisations to ensure appropriate monitoring and remediation.
At a workshop in Accra Mr. Ansah Ofori President of Ghana Fair trade netwirk said Fairtrade has committed to empower smallholder producers and workers to improve their livelihood.
He said the organization has trained more producer organisations in Ghana to representing more than 10,000 farmers, on issues relating to social protection.
He said as part of effort to address workers right Fairtrade Ghana has embark on series of awareness creation and have engagement with different steakholders within the Industry.
Mr. Abubakar Afful of Fairtrade on his side stated that Fairtrsde standards was to ensure that farmer especially in cocoa sector must adhere to strict regulations relating to fundamental human rights which include ensuring the rights of children are respected.
He said Children have basic human rights that need to be protected and one of such right is a right to education and safe environments to help them develop to their fullest potential.
Fairtrade educate their farmers who are their member organisations to create on the need to send children to school. Also committed to ensuring that through these capacity building and training activities, awareness is created on the need for children to go to school.
Mr. Afful mentioned that the main focus of Fairtrade was to tackle child labour in the farming community through child rights advocacy approach.
And also to address the inequality of conventional trade by supporting smallholder farmers and workers to secure better terms of trade.
Our “vision was to have a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future” Mr. Afful mentioned.
The President of Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Mr. Afful Monney called on media practitioners to be the apostle to the gospel and pay emphasis on solution oriented for the benefit of the farmers especially those at the cocoa sectors”, this would help us move the paradiamship from obsessive politics”.
He said the media needs to sharping their focus on issues relating or concern to the farmers.and urged the media to use the power of the pens to fix them,” It our right to fight for what is rightful to our farmers.
“We need to join force to champion the cause of farmers”.
He thank fairtrade for their collaboration for better conditions of our farmers.
Fairtrade Africa works through primary structures such as product, groups. Country partnerships and regional networks, which enables members to have a strong voice in it governance and management.
It owned by members who are African Producer Organization (POs) which produce traditional exports commodities such as Coffie, cocoa, banana, mangos and non traditional commodities including Shea butter and rooibos tea and are certified against international Fairtrade standards.
In Ghana Fairtrade Africa works with over 120,000 cocoa farmers in ten cooperative unions across the country and it certification has brought immense benefits to the farmers who are working with them.
It standard also help farmers to work towards increasing cocoa bean quality and farm productivity through the capacity building and training on good agricultural practices.
However it is the believe of fairtrade that all forms of production should be done in a sustainable manner without jeopardizing the environment.
And also focuses on avoiding deforestation, protection of wildlife in order to enhancing biodiversity, ensuring responsible use of agrochemicals including the use of approved agro – chemicals, using the right personal protective equipment and protection of water bodies.
Fairtrade believe that farmers are the best individuals who can decide on their future by contributing to the development of their community through fairtrade premium producer organization
At the end of the workshop media practitioners showed commitment on the current successes of cocoa sectors and issues of human rights for workers in cocoa farming area and vulnerable groups across the implementing countries.
And Fairtrade’s vision of ‘ensuring a world where all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on the future’.