Capacity Development of Small coffee producer groups in southern Ethiopian by SECAEC

This was a Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperatives Union coffee project carried out in partnership with Solidaridad Eastern and Center African Expertise Center (SECAEC)

with an objective of supporting the primary cooperatives under the union to achieve sustainable access to market by building their capacity in practical training, demonstration and on job support.

Some of Our Achievements

The Member Cooperatives recognize the positive effects and impact that YCFCU Has had on their Livelihoods.

Overall, the cooperatives, and the newly created competition between cooperatives and private traders, have led to the increase in prices paid to the producers. Cooperatives recognize the positive effects the union has impacted for example, in the past, when a cooperative was unable to buy coffee due to lack of their working capital and short on cash, the prices offered by private traders would drop immediately. However, now that these cooperatives are members of the union, it now helps them to access loans and continue on purchasing.

This rise in price has helped poorer farmers, who often needed immediate cash and had to sell off fresh crops before they were even dry simply because they were cash short. Actually, with the current boost, Cooperatives with Fair-trade certifications have enjoyed the highest dividends.

Fairtrade certified cooperatives have conducted social development projects

The Union has played a very crucial role registering all cooperatives under Fairtrade Certification Program for group certification. All Fairtrade certified cooperatives are conducting social development projects which comes with funds support under the fair trade premium fund. The achieved projects under this includes among others; bridge construction, additional school class construction and improvements to the electricity transmission infrastructure. This indicates that cooperatives contribute to local development due to their fair trade certified products. Therefore, the export volume of fair trade coffee has also increased and has helped buffer fair-trade coffee farmers from international price fluctuations. However, fair trade sales are still limited, and thus the benefits to farmers have been relatively small and diluted although its still expected that increased fair trade sales could provide more income to farmers.

Dignity for All (D4A) Impact Program

FTA and Fairtrade Finland Partnership Program

This is a four-year (2018-2021) Program funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland. Underpinned by the Fairtrade Theory of Change (ToC), the MFA Impact Program seeks justice and fairness through exercising rights and freedoms, empowerment through strengthening the assets and capabilities of the most marginalized farmers and workers, and the attainment of sustainable livelihoods through building resilient agro-based trade systems and societies.

The program is aimed at capturing and assessing simultaneous change in four areas (spheres of change): Small producer & worker organizations, Supply chain business practices, Consumer behavior and Civil society action.

The program has six projects that are currently being implemented in Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa in banana, flowers, wine, tea (Hired Labor), coffee and cocoa(Smallholder producers) value chains. It focuses on FTA key thematic areas of gender and social compliance, workers’ rights, living income and living wage.

This role will mainly entail overall management of Dignity For All (D4A) Coffee Impact Project (70%) that targets 3 Fairtrade-certified Coffee Unions i.e. Sidama, Yirgacheffe and Benchmaji with extended but limited support (20%) to Dignity For All (D4A) Flower Impact Project targeting 7 flower farms in Ethiopia, including Women School of Leadership (WSOL) initiative (10%) that focuses on disability and gender inclusion.

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