At the recently held Africa- EU Week celebration from the 14th to 18th February 2022, young Fairtrade producers were part of a series of side events organised by the youth on key thematics relating to integrated development on the African continent.
Fairtrade Africa and Fairtrade International organised a virtual session on ‘Next Generation of Farmers Leading against Climate Change’ on 8 February 2022, as part of Youth Track activities prior to the Africa-Europe Week.
This focused on building participants’ knowledge and skills on transforming and building sustainable food systems through climate-resilient interventions.
Richard Boamah and Bismark Kpabitey who are cocoa farmers with Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in Ghana spoke at the virtual event about their challenges as young cocoa farmers in the face of climate change and called on all concerned stakeholders to take policy action and commit to addressing the existential threat of declining climate conditions.
In another context, from the 21st of February to the 6th March 2022, a series of online events to mark Fairtrade Fortnight has also been planned by Fairtrade Foundation UK and Fairtrade Ireland. The Fairtrade Fortnight campaign is a series of events organised annually to create awareness about Fairtrade and the need for consumers, government, traders, private sector and all stakeholders to advocate for better terms of trade.
Speaking at the events so far, Bismark Kpabitey highlighted: “I’m part of a project called Sankofa that is really helping farmers in dynamic agroforestry. Many organisations have come together to give us training on diversification, where you plant different crops in the same field. Through this programme, we have seen significant improvement in our yields in spite of climate changes. We will like to urge all stakeholders to take action because climate change is real and it is affecting us, farmers”.
The “Alliances for Sankofa” project is supported by the Coop Sustainability Fund and Chocolats Halba, the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa (SWISSCO) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Max Havelaar Foundation Switzerland.
It is implemented by ITC together with the Kuapa Kokoo Cooperative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU) and partners including the Government of Ghana, Fairtrade Africa, WWF Switzerland and the Yam Development Council.
Technical support to the project is provided by Ecotop Suisse GmbH, South Pole and the Nature and Development Foundation (NDF).