International NGOs Christian Aid and Practical Action are partnering with FMOEA (Fairtrade Marketing Organisation Eastern Africa) to open the Fairtrade system to Kenyan farmers who sell their crops on the local market.
Traditionally, Fairtrade supports farmers who export their crops to the Western world. Now that Fairtrade is also introducing its mark to consumers in Africa, new opportunities arise for producers of traditional African vegetables like sweet potatoes, arrowroots, pulses or pigeon peas.
The small-scale traditional vegetable farmers will benefit from this move in different ways. By working together and selling their vegetables in bulk, they will move into a stronger position. As Fairtrade certified farmers they will be ensured of minimum prices and premiums. New markets will open and the quality of their product will improve as they will have to comply with international standards.
As a next step, Practical Action has been commissioned to carry out market research to identify the local food crops with the highest demand by Kenyan supermarket shoppers. A shortlist of these crops will then go through the certification process, before FMOEA brings them to market under the FAIRTRADE Mark.