Friday , September 17 2021

Fairtrade Prize Committees provide registration, unlock funds

Fairtrade Premium Committee – a committee that distributes Fairtrade's proceeds to unions working on farms has been registered under the changed civil society proclamation.

Cher Ethiopia, located on the outskirts of Ziway and a certified Fairtrade producer organization, registers its premium committee. Dummen Orange, found in the city of Coca, Oromia County, which is also a Fairtrade certified farm, has also completed the registration process and expects to receive its recognition certificate soon.

Fairtrade Africa is an independent, non-profit organization representing all certified Fairtrade manufacturers in Africa and the Middle East. There are various certified products in Africa and the Middle East, including gold, sugar, wine, banana, cocoa, vanilla, tea, coffee and flowers. In Ethiopia, seven cooperative cooperatives, six flower farms and one juice farm have been certified by Fairtrade and unions will receive 10 percent of the sales resulting from the new agreement.

The organization works to create a trade fair, empower small producers and workers and promote sustainable livelihoods. Producer organizations are certified by Fairtrade standards as defined by Fairtrade International. FLOCERT, which is wholly owned by International Fairtrade but an independent body, provides audit and certification services. Requirements include ethical production, environmental protection, health and safety, protection of workers' rights, and gender equality.

On the consumer side, there are UFOs (National Fair Trade Organizations), which are mainly based in European countries, responsible for campaigns, promotion and advocacy for Fairtrade and its certified products in their respective markets.

In addition to the Fairtrade minimum price, which is the minimum amount to be paid to manufacturers; manufacturers will receive an additional amount called Fairtrade Premium to benefit their workers and their communities (10 percent of sales). The premium money is administered by the Fairtrade Premium Committee to the certified producer organizations that receive the fund. However, these committees must be legally registered to access the funds.

Almost every Fairtrade certified manufacturer across the continent and the Middle East has a legal scheme that registers and recognizes committees other than Ethiopia, creating a challenge for Fairtrade Africa and its certified Ethiopian manufacturers until this amended law addresses the problem.

"There have been many challenges in registering Fairtrade committees to access premium funds because of previous restrictive CSO law in the country. Workers complained about the use of the funds because they knew the funds were brought from the flowers they produce and wanted to take advantage of them, "said Mosisa Teferi, an employee of Fairtrade (FTO) in Dummen Orange, Ethiopia. The reporter,

However, after the amendment of the CSO Law, which removes the restriction on the registration of such commissions, the farm managed to register the committee and gain access to the premium funds.

In addition, Mosisa explained that the Dummen Orange Committee will soon start implementing various projects with this fund, which will be of benefit to workers and the public at large.

As part of this move, Fairtrade Africa, under the Dignity for All (D4A) Impact Program, flower projects funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland, have hosted capacity building training for Fairtrade's Prize Committees and union employees. use of bonuses, Fairtrade standards, the role of trade unions and stakeholders.

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