The fourth Fairtrade Network is a fact! Fairtrade cotton producers from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal met in Dakar to set up a network which will represent the voice of cotton farmers in the Fairtrade system. The network is a new channel through which the farmers will be able to share their challenges, information and best practices with each other and Fairtrade.
According to Oumar Bousso from US-GPC Missirah Senegal, the producers unanimously agreed to set up the network: 'It is a step forward as cotton companies are now often the intermediaries between producers and Fairtrade. We expect that the Fairtrade cotton model will lead to an increase in sales in the long run.'
Currently cotton producers in Africa are already being represented by AproCar, the African Cotton Producer Association. The new Fairtrade network will partner with the organisation, complementing rather than duplicating its efforts to uplift the situation of African cotton farmers.
Representatives of the Fairtrade cotton farms have already been appointed and are now developing a work plan for 2013.