Fairtrade Africa has held a joint planning and review meeting with its partners to assess the progress of implementation of the West Africa Cocoa Programme (WACP).
The meeting also afforded the certification organisation the opportunity to align the 2022 work plans of the programme with partner cooperatives, and other key stakeholder organisations including Cocobod, Forestry Commission, the Fair-Trade Ghana Network, AVSF, Tony’s Chocolonely as well as the Department of Social Welfare.
The programme was held from 8th to 11th March in Kumasi and was attended by the leadership of the various Cooperatives and key representatives of invited stakeholders.
Producers used the occasion to provide feedback on the significant role of Fairtrade in building producer resilience through organisational strengthening, climate-smart approaches as well as income and product diversification, for the year under review.
Through peer learning visits and grants, Fairtrade producer organisations undertook significant activities including income and product diversification.
The West Africa Cocoa Programme was established in 2016 and according to Fairtrade Africa producer organisations under the programme have been strengthened.
The results showed a significant improvement in strengthening organisations through capacity building received from Fairtrade such as Internal Management Systems, Farm Record-Keeping, Financial Management, GAPs and Climate change, child protection and Governance process.
Speaking at the event, Programme Team Leader for Cocoa, Abubakar Afful highlighted the impact of Fairtrade on strengthening producer organisations in line with Fairtrade Africa 2021-2025 strategy which focuses on Product and Market Development; Policy and Advocacy; Sustainable Farming Systems; and Transformed and Strengthened Producer Organisations.
He also called on producers organisations and stakeholders to work together and be ready for the implementation of the EU regulation on Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD).
Stakeholders present highlighted the need for deepening collaboration among cooperatives and organisations to enhance efficiency, increased synergy and impacts for the farmers.
All stakeholders assured producers and Fairtrade Africa of their maximum support and, therefore, called on the Cooperatives to take advantage of the numerous programmes being run by their outfit.