Fair Trade Movement Rwanda chapter, was yesterday officially launched at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), in a strategy to access regional and global markets.
Speaking during the launch, RDB’s Principal Deputy CEO, George Mulamula, said they were embracing the movement because it would help RDB get in touch with Rwandan producers.
Fair Trade Movement started in the 1950s in Mexico after producers protested meagre returns they got from their produce.
But since then, it has spread across the world creating blocs that have become major markets.
In Africa it is helping disadvantaged farmers get a better deal for their produce.
Currently, it has 14 coffee cooperatives and two tea estates as members.
Tom Bageza, cooperative development officer with the USAID funded project, Sustaining Partnerships in Rwanda for Enhancing Agriculture Development (SPREAD), disclosed that joining the movement was an insurance and assurance to the producers that they will sell off their produce even in times of crisis.
“The biggest benefit is the insurance. During the recession, coffee that was fair trade certified didn’t have a problem selling. It is a market assurance and buyers and consumers have trust in the produce,” he said.
John Rebero, a Fair-Trade certified producer of Misozi Coffee, disclosed that there were numerous opportunities once a producer became a member of the movement.
“Once you join the movement you will have access to the African Fair Trade network, the East African Network, and there is the Eastern, Southern and the Western blocs,” he said.