To further facilitate the effective functioning of the Malawi Fairtrade Network, producer members agreed to establish a Secretariat in the country's second city Blantyre.
Activities of the Secretariat - which include advocacy, research and market development - were approved during the Network's first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March. Producer members also agreed on a general work plan for the network and set up of committees to review the constituency and oversee finances.
Frank Olok is currently the National Coordinator of the Secretariat: 'I am a VSO volunteer. VSO is an international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. During my six-month assignment at the network my main task is to lay the foundations for a strong and viable organisation able to effectively serve all Malawi's Fairtrade producers.'
Frank is well equipped for the position as he has over 20 years of experience in private sector development and held management positions in public and private organisations across the continent. When his six-month assignment has come to its end, a local counterpart will take over his role as National Coordinator to ensure progress continues.