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South Africa: Fairtrade Sugar Comes into Market


Sierra Leone: Tropical Farms Enters Sustainable Cocoa Agreement


Africa: Fairtrade Celebrates 10 Year Achievements




South Africa: Fairtrade Sugar Comes into Market

With the support of the Dutch organisation Interchurch Cooperative for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Fairtrade South Africa has successfully got 230 KwaZulu-Natal small-scale sugar farmers to become Fairtrade certified. The individual small-scale farmers have collectively formed two co-operatives: Sakhokuhle Farmers Primary Co-operative Limited and Inzwakhele Trading Enterprise Primary Co-Operative Limited; together they are expected to produce in excess of 1,000 metric tonnes of Fairtrade sugar per annum. This is the first time Fairtrade sugar to be produced in South Africa.

Fairtrade currently works with over 1.5 million small-scale farmers and farm workers in the world, 61 percent of who are located in Africa, says Arianna Baldo, executive director of Fairtrade South Africa. The sugar cane industry in South Africa is largely dominated by large-scale farmers, with only eight percent of sugar cane grown by small-scale farmers. Fairtrade has had a powerful and sustainable impact on the sugar industry in other countries, so it was a natural step to add sugar to our South African projects.

Fairtrade South Africa has partnered with Illovo Sugar South Africa through its Noodsberg Mill in KwaZulu-Natal. Together, they have identified the co-operatives to participate in the project and assisted the farmers in successfully completing the Fairtrade audits. Over and above this, Illovo Sugar SA is working closely with Fairtrade to assist in finding buyers for the Fairtrade sugar.

Illovo Sugar understands the importance of developing the industry and is committed to working with small-scale growers. Our partnership with Fairtrade on this project is an extension of our company ethos when it comes to small-scale farmers says Darrell de Wet, marketing manager of Illovo Sugar SA. We have been working very closely with the co-ops to ensure that they comply with all the certification requirements and have been assisting them in any way that we can.

Initially, the South African Fairtrade sugar will be used by Cadburys as an ingredient in one of their chocolate products. Over and above supplying the industrial market, the long-term plan is for Fairtrade sugar consumer products to join the ranks of Fairtrade products currently available in South Africa including coffee, chocolate, tea, wine and juice.

The South African Fairtrade Sugar Project was launched in 2014; the  industry expects to see the first crop of cane sugar with Fairtrade certification at the end of 2015.

Related Article: Food Traceability Gaining Popularity

Source: News Release


Sierra Leone: Tropical Farms Enters Sustainable Cocoa Agreement

Agriterra, the AIM listed pan-African agricultural company, is pleased to announce that its wholly owned Sierra Leone cocoa business, Tropical Farms Limited ('Tropical Farms') has signed a trading agreement ('the Trading Agreement') with a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods (the 'Offtaker').

Under the terms of the Trading Agreement, Tropical Farms will use its organic certification and buying networks to source and supply up to 500 metric tonnes of Sierra Leonean cocoa beans to the Offtaker during the 2015/2016 buying season; the Offtaker will provide Tropical Farms with pre-financing for the purchase of beans.

The Trading Agreement will leverage Tropical Farms' extensive infrastructure in Sierra Leone, including a 2000m state-of-the-art warehouse in Kenema. As well as Tropical Farms sourcing and supplying cocoa, the Offtaker has expressed its interest in additional produce and both parties have committed to explore opportunities for organic coffee and other organic food crops.

Adrian Simpson, Managing Director of Tropical Farms, said, "I am pleased to announce this Trading Agreement, which marks a positive step in the recovery of the cocoa industry in Sierra Leone following the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

OM Comment
This is one of many trade agreement involving sustainable commodities. A growing number of food companies are sourcing organic, fairtrade or other eco-labelled agricultural commodities from developing countries. The need for traceability is one reason, another is sustainability with food companies looking to address their environmental and / or social impacts. Sustainable supply chains will be covered in
the Sustainable Foods Summit, hosted in San Francisco on 20-22 January. In 2016, there will be other editions in Europe (Amsterdam) on June 9-10th, and Latin America (Sao Paulo) on 29-30th June. More details


Source: News Release / OM



Africa: Fairtrade Celebrates 10 Year Achievements

More than 400 Fairtrade producers and partners gathered in Nairobi, Kenya to kick off a series of regional 10 year celebrations.

The two-day event, held at Strathmore Business School at the end of September, gave producers from across East and Central Africa the opportunity to share best practices and discuss their vision for the future of Fairtrade with businesses, NGO partners and Fairtrade staff.

In his key note address, the British High Commissioner, Dr. Christian Turner pointed out his morning ritual of consuming Fairtrade. "You have to come and see, I am a typical English man, I consume good Fairtrade tea from Kenya. Additionally flowers at my residence are Fairtrade," he said.

Referring to Fairtrade statistics, Dr. Turner noted that 9 out of 10 people in UK know about the Fairtrade Mark, and there are already 601 towns that are Fairtrade in the UK. He expressed his confidence in the Fairtrade movement citing that "Fairtrade's agenda is right because agriculture is at the centre of Africa's labour force."

The High Commissioner, further congratulated Fairtrade Africa in its achievements in tackling poverty in farming communities.

"Fairtrade Africa plays a crucial role in helping to improve the lives of poor people in a sustainable way, by ensuring farmers receive fair prices for their products and workers receive better wages to help them support their families...Here in Kenya, Fairtrade Africa has played an important role in protecting workers from exploitation and improving working conditions. This has had a hugely positive impact not only to direct beneficiaries, but also their communities."

In conclusion he also urged more businesses to commit to Fairtrade as the "right and smart thing to do".

Related Article: The Future Direction of Clean Labels

Source: Fairtrade Africa / OM













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