TRADE FOR DEVELOPMENT
FAIR AND SUSTAINABLE TRADE IN UGANDA 1
CONTENTS UGANDA, THE PEARL OF AFRICA A history of Uganda The Ugandan Economy Coffee, the Black Gold of Uganda
FAIR TRADE IN UGANDA What is Fair Trade?
FAIR TRADE COFFEE IN UGANDA Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprise Mirembe Kawomera: Certified Fair Trade, Organic, Kosher and Halal coffee UNEX Union Export Services Ltd
FAIR TRADE TEA IN UGANDA Mabale Growers Tea Factory Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Igara Growers Tea Factory Limited Kayonza Growers Tea Factory Limited
FAIR TRADE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE MARKETING INITIATIVES IN UGANDA Fruits of the Nile: Sustainable and Fair Innovation Ndali Estate
THE FAIR TRADE CRAFTS SECTOR IN UGANDA National Association of Women Organisation (NAWOU) Uganda Crafts 2000 Limited Bead for Life
SUSTAINABLE TRADE INITIATIVES IN UGANDA Uganda Organic Certification Ltd. (UgoCert) KAWACOM The Bukonzo Organics Label NUCAFE, Global Cooperation Sustainable fishing on Lake Victoria Trees for Global Benefit Kampala Jellitone Suppliers
Managing Editor Carl MICHIELS COORDINATION Piezo - Samuel Poos (BTC) EDITING Dan AZRIA CONCEPT Julie RICHTER photo cover BeadforLife ÂŠ BTC, Belgian development agency, April 2010. All rights reserved. The content of this publication may be reproduced after permission has been obtained from BTC and provided that the source is acknowledged. This publication of the Trade for Development Centre does not necessarily represent the views of BTC.
INTRODUCTION In colonial times westerners considered Uganda to be “the Pearl of Africa” which was discovered while looking for the mythical sources of the Nile. The country boasted magnificent scenery, diversity of fauna and flora, fertile land, thriving plantations and prosperous farms. With so much to offer, at the time of its independence in 1962, Uganda seemed ready to face the modern world. But then war broke out. For more than 25 years, almost until the end of the 1980s, Uganda had to endure revolution, civil war, the bloody dictatorships of Idi Amin Dada and Milton Obote, ethnic and religious conflict, foreign invasion and armed rebellions. Once the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda was reduced to one of the poorest countries in the world. Since 1986 and the political stabilisation of the country by Yoweri Museveni, matters have improved in Uganda, despite the persistence of unrest in the north. The economy is gradually recovering, as are the living standards of the inhabitants. Today, despite its geographical isolation, Uganda is enthusiastically embracing modernity and globalisation by developing high added-value activities to meet the emerging demands of large markets (organic farming in particular). Fair and sustainable trade is playing its role in this development project, as we shall see in this brochure.
UGANDA, THE PEARL OF AFRICA A HISTORY OF UGANDA The first kingdoms The first signs of human presence in the Great Lakes region of central Africa date back to the mists of time. From the 15th century onwards, large kingdoms appeared, each with a highly centralised political system covering very large territories. These included the kingdoms of Bunyoro-Kitara, Ankole, the Sese Islands and Buganda. The 17th, 18th and 19th centuries were marked by the expansion of the kingdom of Buganda, which took control of the main trade routes, including those connecting the Great Lakes to the Indian Ocean. Taking advantage of the declining power of neighbouring kingdoms, the kings of Buganda (the most famous being Kabaka Suna, “Kabaka” meaning “King”) subjugated the tribes of these kingdoms, conquered their lands and assimilated their populations. Thus, Buganda, a minor kingdom at the start of the 17th century, was, by the start of the 19th, the major regional power in the Great Lakes region. It is from this time that historians began to assimilate the history of Buganda with that of Uganda.
The pre-colonial period The first remote outsiders to enter the kingdom of Buganda were Arab merchants who were welcomed at the court of the Kabakas from about 1830. They were followed in the 1860s by the first British explorers searching for the sources of the Nile. These included Richard Burton, John Speke, James Grant and Henry Morton Stanley. Then came other adventurers from all over Europe, attracted by this huge country with its magnificent and fascinating scenery and advanced political system. It was Sir Winston Churchill who named this kingdom “the Pearl of Africa”. The permanent presence of Europeans in the country dates from 1877 – 1879 with the arrival of first Protestant,
and then Catholic missionaries, who embarked on a vast campaign of evangelisation, first in Buganda, then in the smaller neighbouring kingdoms. But the actions of the Christian churches clashed with the more ancient presence of the Arab traders and the Muslim Swahili who resented the conversion of the local populations. Unlike his subjects who converted en masse to Catholicism or Protestantism, Kabaka Mutesa showed no intention of turning to any of the monotheist religions introduced by Arabs and then by Europeans. The organisation of the kingdom and the history first of Buganda and later of Uganda were to be deeply affected by this religious element, which would be a major factor in the outbreak of civil wars between 1889 and 1895.
From post-colonial crises to the present Tensions increased between the Nilotic populations of the north, who were opposed to Bugandaâ€™s economic and political domination of the whole country, and the Bantu populations of the south. In May 1966, Milton Obote, the Prime Minister, who came from the north of the country, sent the army into Buganda to impose central rule. With the help of his chief of staff, Idi Amin-Dada, who came from the Muslim minorities of the north-west, Milton Obote deposed the king, Kabaka Mutesa II, promulgated a new constitution which abolished the kingdoms and instituted a presidential regime.
Colonial Uganda As a rival of Germany for control of East Africa, Great Britain sent the military to intervene in the kingdom of Buganda and end the ethnic and religious conflicts tearing the country apart. In 1894, Kabaka Mwanga, son of Mutesa I, signed a British protectorate agreement formally incorporating the kingdom into the British colonial empire. With the signing of a second agreement in 1900, known as the Uganda Agreement, Buganda and the smaller neighbouring kingdoms subjugated by the British Army were unified under the name of Uganda.
Decolonisation Despite the strong presence of Catholic and Protestant missionaries, Uganda never had large British or European communities. The years between the signing of the protectorate agreement and the first demands for independence were marked by the emergence of a prosperous peasant class and the development of agriculture in the country. As in many countries subject to colonisation, the independence movement emerged after the Second World War. In 1953, Kabaka Mutesa II was exiled to London for three years for having expressed a desire for independence. The negotiations leading to an independence treaty were long and difficult, but on 9 October 1962, Uganda was recognised as an independent state. Very soon afterwards, problems arose concerning the political and territorial organisation of the new country.
In 1971, Idi Amin Dada took power after a bloody coup. He increased the military, massacred his political opponents and instituted a reign of terror among both the Baganda ethnic majority in Buganda and the Nilotic populations of the north. The number of victims of his bloody regime is estimated at 200,000 men, women and children. As the country verged on the brink of bankruptcy, the Ugandan government obtained financial aid from the Arab states allied to Amin Dada. In November 1978, in response to Ugandan incursions into its territory, the Tanzanian army entered Uganda, supported the Ugandan rebellion and forced the dictator Idi Amin Dada to flee to Saudi Arabia. However, despite the re-establishment of a civil regime in Uganda and the departure of Tanzanian troops, the unrest continued. Three presidents succeeded each other within the space of a few months, before Milton Obote returned to power to exercise a presidential regime that was even more bloody than those of his predecessors. At the start of the 1980s, the country was in a disastrous situation. Inflation was soaring, a terrible famine was decimating the population of the north, opposition was being brutally repressed, and armed rebels in the north (former supporters of Amin Dada) and in the south (the National Resistance Army) opposed the government. In January 1986, Yoweri Museveni, leader of the National Resistance Army, came to power in Uganda and set about rebuilding the country, which had been severely weakened by the years of conflict and unrest. The new government undertook numerous reforms that set the country on the road of development. Economically, the situation has improved considerably (stabilisation of inflation, sustainable growth, etc.) but the situation remains difficult with the persistence of violent rebellion in the north, where the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army, supported by Muslim Sudan, imposes a reign of terror. Politically, a multi-ethnic government of national unity was established, and endeavoured to stabilise the balance of power between the former kingdoms.
THE UGANDAN ECONOMY Until its independence in 1962, Uganda was often regarded as one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of the British Empire, in particular for its highly developed agricultural sector. Over a long period, both Buganda and the peripheral kingdoms appeared to be models of rural prosperity, thanks to a dynamic peasant farming class and a highly productive agricultural system, especially in the coffee and tea sectors. But 25 years of dictatorship and civil war completely ruined the country, making Uganda one of the poorest countries in the world. It would have to wait until the end of the 1980s to re-establish its economic potential and set out on the road to development. Today, despite major geographical disparities (the north-east of the country continues to suffer from ethnic and sectarian violence), Uganda is experiencing remarkable growth (about 10% per year), largely due to a skilfully managed economic policy. In fact, since the assumption of power by Yoweri Museveni in 1986, Uganda, despite its geographical isolation, has opened up to foreign investment and has encouraged significant immigration, particularly from India.
An essentially agricultural economy The main sector of activity in Uganda is still agriculture. With an ideal climate, fertile soil and large tracts of arable land, agricultural activities concentrate on the production of coffee, tea, cotton, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables. Today, agriculture employs almost 80% of the country’s manpower and provides the bulk of foreign currency. Fishing For a long time, Uganda had great potential to develop fishing on the shores of the immense Lake Victoria and Lake Albert, in particular for Nile perch, but the dramatic reduction in fish stocks and the appearance of major ecological problems in these waters are now threatening this potential and are calling for new fishing practices. Under-exploited raw materials Underground oil deposits were discovered in 2006 in the Lake Albert region. As a result of the major investment made to allow their exploitation, the first barrels should come on to the market in 2010 (between 6,000 and 10,000 barrels a day)1. In addition, mineral resources have been discovered (copper and cobalt in particular) but remain largely un-exploited. These discoveries could contribute to accelerating foreign investment in terms of infrastructure.
Industry, trade and services The large industrial sectors and the main trading companies in the country are largely owned by extended families of Indian origin. These groups, which contribute significantly to the dynamism of the national economy, also have a significant presence in many service industries (tourism, finance, insurance, etc.). And now the financial crisis has arrived … Overall, the Ugandan economy has performed fairly well in the face of the financial and economic crisis that began in the summer of 20082. With a growth rate of almost 7% in 2008, the country has been able to withstand the international economic turmoil and regional political instability. While national growth has hitherto been driven by agricultural activity, the latest growth figures have highlighted stagnation in this sector and strong growth in the service and industrial production sectors. But the political crisis in neighbouring Kenya, the exhaustion of fish stocks and the recent changes in oil prices should result in a fall in this growth, which is still estimated at about 6% for 2009 and 2010.
COFFEE, THE BLACK GOLD OF UGANDA A little history At the start of the 20th century in Uganda, Europeans discovered the virtues of Coffea canephora, the coffee plant variety that produces one of the most highly regarded coffees in the world, robusta, whose beans contain twice as much caffeine as those of arabica. The special properties of this magical plant had been known for a long time on the African continent. Consumed since the dawn of time by the local populations of East Africa, coffee was used especially in traditional medicine and in religious practices and rituals. In the kingdoms of Buganda, Ankole and Bunyoro (which form the present Uganda), coffee was considered a luxury and was used widely in grand ceremonies, marriages and rituals. From the 18th century, coffee became a colonial product, similar in stature to sugar and spices, trade in which was to constitute one of the pillars of the slave trade at first, and of colonial oppression later. â€œMax Havelaarâ€? was the name of the eponymous protagonist in a novel published in Holland in 1860, which recounts the terrible working conditions imposed by Dutch colonists on indigenous populations working on coffee plantations on the island of Java. Throughout the 19th century, the number of these plantations increased in the majority of the colonial territories located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
The coffee economy From the end of the 1980s, the world coffee market underwent a major structural crisis, which profoundly affected the populations and production structures of all the producing countries. Supply greatly exceeded demand and there was a sudden fall in coffee prices, which by 2000 had fallen to their lowest ever levels. The World Bank estimates that at this time, coffee producers lost an average of USD 4.5 billion a year. In Africa and Central America, this crisis severely weakened national finances that were largely dependent on exports of raw materials, and the governments of these countries were forced to make drastic cuts in social programmes and the fight against poverty, to the detriment of millions of coffee planter families. The end of the International Coffee Agreement in 1989 marked the beginning of the crisis. Many factors were involved: the failure of production growth strategies imposed by the IMF on the producing countries, the intervention of coffee multinationals (including Nestle, Philip Morris, Kraft, etc.) that stored large quantities to keep prices as low as possible, and the fall in consumption in wealthy countries3. With competition from Colombia, Brazil and Vietnam, the African producing countries were among the first victims of this crisis. Poorly organised, the production sectors proved unable to adopt common positions and to make themselves heard by the major players, in particular in international negotiations. From 2005, the situation improved and the price of coffee returned to a more acceptable level for the producers. But this crisis illustrated the volatility of prices and the need to set up a stable and fairer system.
FAIR TRADE IN UGANDA WHAT IS FAIR TRADE? Fair trade was born out of a simple observation: the gap in wealth between the populations of the richest countries and the poorest countries is not getting any narrower despite the amounts invested in development aid. In less than a century, the difference in income between the top 20% of the richest countries and the bottom 20% of the poorest countries has changed from 11:1 (1913) to 75:1 (now). Wars, natural disasters, failing infrastructures, and corruption are among the causes of this imbalance; however, basic structural economic problems also play a major role. Speculation in raw materials, the debt spiral, subsidised competition from producers in the North; all these mechanisms constitute obstacles to the sustainable growth of the poorest countries that are unable to control their development. Although these commercial inequalities have been apparent since the 19th century (in particular with the publication in 1860 of the novel Max Havelaar by the Dutchman Edouard Douwes Dekker), it was only in the post-war years that the first fair trade project appeared, promoted by US and British organisations (Ten Thousand Villages in the US and Oxfam in the United Kingdom).
In 1999, the main international organisations for fair trade (World Fair Trade Organisation, Fair Trade Labelling Organisations (FLO) and the Network of European Worldshops agreed on a common definition: “Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organisations, backed by consumers, are actively engaged in supporting producers, awareness-raising and campaigning for changes in the rules and practices of conventional international trade”.
To support the implementation of this economic system, these organisations created a list of 10 main principles to be respected: • • • • • • • • • •
Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers. Transparency and accountability. Capacity building. Promoting fair trade. Payment of a fair price. Ensuring gender equity. Providing decent working conditions. Preventing child labour. Protecting the environment. Encouraging trading relations based on trust and mutual respect.
In practice, fair trade guarantees producers in the poorest countries more remunerative purchase prices than world prices as well as relative price stability and the establishment of favourable payment periods and terms (and the possibility of advance financing), which means peasant farmers and craftsmen are no longer obliged to virtually give away their products or resort to loan sharks. The fair price is negotiated. It must cover all production costs, including environmental costs, and must guarantee the producers a decent standard of living. In addition, fair trade purchases normally undertake to support social programmes (literacy, access to education and health care, etc.) and support production investment by the producer organisations.
FAIR TRADE COFFEE IN UGANDA The history of fair trade is inseparable from the history of coffee. With the crisis of the 1990s, which affected the living standards of millions of small producers in many poor countries, the benefits offered to this sector by the principles of fair trade soon became abundantly clear. Higher and guaranteed purchase prices, ‘premiums’ for social development, assistance with production investment, advice and training… these were all fundamental components of the coffee fair trade system which helped to alleviate the difficulties of these producers and to organise themselves in order to face the risks presented by the world coffee organisations to small-scale farmers in poor countries.
© BTC / Dieter Telemans
ANKOLE COFFEE PRODUCERS COOPERATIVE Combined with the world crisis in agricultural raw materials in the 1990s, the liberalisation of the coffee market in Uganda caused major upheavals in the production, management and marketing of tea and coffee, the main production sectors of the country; this often went to the detriment of the state-controlled organisations inherited from the post-colonial era. Many of these mammoth organisations found themselves unable to repay their debts and went bankrupt due to their inability to adapt to market changes and the demands of international buyers. Such was the fate of the Banyakole Kweterana Cooperative Union Limited (BKCU), one of the largest cooperatives producing robusta coffee in the southwest of Uganda, which went bankrupt in 1996. At first, the small local producers that depended on the cooperative had no other choice but to turn to other intermediaries to provide the centralised collection and marketing of their harvests on the international markets, the majority of which operate in the form of auctions, usually held in Mombassa, Kenya for the East African countries. Farmers from the Bushenyi district therefore turned to UNEX, a specialist Ugandan marketing agency that takes commission on sales for its management and brokerage services involving foreign buyers. In the meantime, the producers of robusta coffee in the region received support from several fair trade organisations, including CoffeeDirect, which set up a Producer Partnership Programme in 2000 to support local producers in their reorganisation projects and to train local farmers. About ten local groups totalling some 4,000 producers that received fair trade certification at the end of the 1990s decided to set up a new intermediate cooperative, smaller and more flexible than its predecessor, and called it the Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Union Limited (ACPCU), using the name of the former kingdom incorporated into Uganda at the start of the 20th century. By organising themselves in this manner, these producers demonstrated their intention to be masters of their own destiny, to take on the role previously performed by the intermediate marketing agency and to create employment, by keeping value-added activities at local level. Supported by international fair trade organisations, including CoffeeDirect (one of the main central purchasing organisations for fair trade coffee, which immediately undertook to buy future harvests and pre-finance certain investment), the cooperative underwent rapid growth. As John Nuwagaba, the general manager of ACPCU, testifies: â€œCoffeeDirect has given us a lot of help since our creation in 2001. They buy our coffee at a very good price, and the premium has allowed us to carry out many projects. As from the second payment, the fair trade premium has allowed growers to make provision for educating their children. Our members have developed a genuine culture of solidarity and the cooperative has been recapitalised. We have also been encouraged and supported in development of the cooperative and in our negotiations with strategic partners. So many good thingsâ€?4.
The premium paid by CoffeeDirect has allowed some very practical projects to be implemented to the benefit of the whole community: • Construction of a communal dwelling house and a library at Kashekuro • Renovation of Kihumuro primary school and the headmaster’s house • Repair and renovation of four other village schools • The cultivation of new seedlings • Repair of a bridge With the support of its partners, the Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Union has also recruited two people to manage the cooperative and undertake commercial negotiations with international buyers.
The project for conversion to organic farming Since the end of 2008, the newly-formed cooperative has started an organic certification procedure for its produce and processing procedures with the help of international funding. The fact that the robusta coffee plant has few natural predators and requires very little fertiliser made this project so much easier to implement. The ACPCU coffee producers use natural soil-enrichment methods and virtually no pesticides or herbicides. The arable land is fertilised using banana leaf compost and manure from the cattle that wander freely among the plantations. Pesticide is also produced naturally using extracts of the Bird’s-Eye pepper, a plant that grows among the coffee plants. The coffee trees are surrounded by banana trees, yams, bean plants and other food crops, which enrich the shaded soil. Set up in January 2009, this programme for converting to organic farming is particularly ambitious. In fact, it is designed to allow the 4,000 producers of the cooperative to supply up to 800 tonnes of fair trade and organic certified coffee starting from 2011. The managers of the cooperative also hope that the increased revenue generated by sales of this very high quality coffee will lead to new producers joining the programme and current members increasing their production of organic fair trade coffee. To achieve these results, the managers of the Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Union have some major resources at their disposal. Some 13 personnel have been recruited, a coordinator and 12 field officers, who are assigned to each of the 10 village associations comprising the cooperative. Trained by experts from the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), these field officers roam through the plantations on bicycles, checking the growth of young plants and advising the growers. This programme, which is implemented over three years, aims at certifying at least 95% of the producers in the cooperative. Developed with the support of Agriterra, a Dutch NGO that supports rural communities, the economic model for this programme is quite remarkable. The total budget for the organic conversion of the cooperative, amounting to some EUR 160,000 over three years, represents an estimated cost per direct beneficiary (bearing in mind that the average farming family consists of 7 persons) of about two euros a year.
To find out more: www.cafedirect.co.uk/our_partners/africa/uganda/acpcu www.flo-cert.net www.fairtrade.org.uk
GUMUTINDO COFFEE COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISE (BTC PARTNERSHIP) Established in 2000, the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprise was created out of the remains of the old Ugandan cooperative system. In fact, since the 1960s, Uganda, like most of the African countries, organised its agricultural production around huge associations of cooperatives whose ponderous structures were largely dependent on the State. The liberalisation of the Ugandan coffee market in the 1990s saw the emergence of new organisations that were able to organise their production and their marketing activities themselves, to the detriment of the old Bugiso Cooperative Union (BCU), which had until then dominated coffee production but had not been able to adapt to this new system. With its hundreds of thousands of affiliated producers, the BCU represented the very archetype of the African production structure that centralised the marketing of hundreds of basic cooperatives, known as Primary Societies. But this system, which was very inflexible and too state-controlled, could not adapt to the international coffee crisis at the start of the 1990s. These mega-cooperatives proved incapable of meeting the demands of the wholesalers and foreign importers who appeared on many African markets following the move to liberalisation. The Gumutindo (â€œGood farmerâ€? in the Bugisu language) cooperative was created by four of the most active and transparent Primary Societies in the BCU, with the objective of producing high-quality coffee that could be sold at the best price. Set up in 2000, with the technical support of TWIN, a British fair trade NGO, and the financial support of alternative funds such as Shared Interest, the Gumutindo cooperative, which on creation comprised some 3,000 producers formerly affiliated to the BCU, was quickly joined by other basic cooperatives wanting to benefit from the mutual structures of this intermediate organisation.
This initially involved rationalising production, organising transportation and creating small processing units that were responsive to market changes. However, the cooperative managers quickly realised that in order to survive and expand, they had to learn how to control the whole sector, from production to exportation. Accordingly, they set up the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprise in 2003 and obtained fair trade certification the following year. With the support of the Gumutindo Management Agency, an internal consultancy specialising in certification and marketing, all the products of the affiliated farms are now certified organic or are undergoing such certification. These farms are located in the Mbale district, in eastern Uganda, close to the Kenyan border, on the slopes of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano and the highest mountain in the country. The subtropical climate and the fertile volcanic soil are an ideal environment for coffee production. Banana and other specially chosen fruit trees are planted among the coffee trees, as well as bean plants or maize. Research is carried out with the assistance of experts to achieve the best balance between the vegetable species, and anti-erosion techniques are employed to obtain the best possible yields without harming the environment. Today, the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative Enterprise consists of 6 large village cooperatives: Busamaga (422 farmers), Bumayoga (428 farmers), Buginyanya (690 farmers), Nasufwa (553 farmers), Konokoyi (745 farmers) and Peace Kawomera (976 farmers). Thanks to the fair trade system, these farmers benefit from pre-financing of their harvests. The basic cooperatives deliver their produce to the central store at Gumutindo where it is bagged in 60 kg sacks and stored in the cooperative warehouses before being transported to the port of Mombasa in Kenya for exportation to Europe and the United States. The list of collective initiatives carried out by the Gumutindo cooperative under the fair trade system is impressive: the purchase of new warehouses and modern offices in 2006, conversion of farms to organic farming, expansion of the clinic, construction of three primary schools and a secondary college, establishment of two local health centres, electricity supply to the villages, to name but a few. The fair trade importers, such as Cafedirect or Equal Exchange, pay the “Premium” price for the coffee produced by the Gumutindo cooperative, which is considered excellent. The growers are actually paid USD 2.70 a kilo, while the average price on the world market has been USD 1.6 a kilo for the last six years. Difasi Namisi, a producer affiliated with Gumutindo, says: “The money I received from the premium (Fair Trade Premium) last year has allowed me to pay for sending my daughter to school. I have told my friends and my children we must devote our time to producing coffee of a very high quality. And since the other farmers have seen us receive this premium, they are trying to imitate us and quality is improving”. This recognition of the quality of the product constitutes one of the characteristics of the Gumutindo system, which strongly encourages its affiliated farmers to commit themselves to this concept, to accept the fact that it is the excellent quality of the product that justifies its high purchase price. Lydia Nabulumbi, quality manager of the Gumutindo cooperative, runs the technical laboratory, advises and trains the producers of the basic cooperatives, and manages the tasting rooms. As she explains, the work consists of “making the farmers aware of the fact that they must produce coffee of excellent quality to obtain a good price and increase their income and the living standards of their families”.
The support of the Trade for Development Centre BTC’s Trade for Development Centre (TDC) supports the promotion and marketing activities of the Gumutindo cooperative in order to increase the value of its production, in particular to importers and European and US consumers. The project which the TDC supports in cooperation with the British fair trade NGO Twin, which provides technical assistance, is designed to develop a new range of high-quality products and to support the promotion and marketing of this new ‘gourmet coffee’. This project is implemented over two years. • In the first year, priority was given to identifying currently existing coffee varieties and finding specific commercial opportunities in the different target markets. Sales aids will be developed and an initial series of contacts is to be made to bring about the first pilot sales. • The second year is devoted to the deployment of the marketing initiatives for the products in the range of Gumutindo gourmet coffees with the intention, on the one hand, of consolidating commercial relations established with the initial buyers in the form of sustainable partnerships and, on the other hand, of developing a larger clientele by contacting new purchasers. This project benefits from funding from the Trade for Development Centre to the amount of EUR 26 250.
To find out more: www.omdm.be/ouganda/gumutindo.html www.maxhavelaar.be/fr/mh/producer/detail/106/profile www.cafedirect.co.uk/our_partners/africa/uganda/gumutindo www.fairtrade.org.uk/producers/coffee/gumutindo_coffee_cooperative_uganda/default.aspx www.flo-cert.net
Joab Jonadav Keki, Initiator of the project
MIREMBE KAWOMERA: “DELICIOUS PEACE” CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE, ORGANIC, KOSHER AND HALAL COFFEE Surprisingly, the history of the Mirembe Kawomera cooperative has it is roots in the distinctive religious history of Uganda. In 1919, while the British Protestant missionaries were involved in vast movements to convert the local populations, Semei Kakungulu, a charismatic warlord from the town of Mbale and an ally of the British, was given a Bible by a missionary.
History recounts that after reading the Holy Book, Kakungulu, who had worked alongside the British colonists since childhood in the hope of becoming the Viceroy of Buganda, eventually concluded that he agreed more with the teachings of the Old Testament than those of the New Testament. “In that case”, he was supposedly told by a missionary, “you’re not Christian, you’re Jewish”. Semei Kakungulu, now abandoned by the British occupiers who were beginning to find him a nuisance, decided to declare himself Jewish and was converted along with his 3,000 subjects and their families. For several years, the new community strived to follow the dictates of the Torah without having any direct contact with the people of Israel. It was not until 1926 that Semei Kakungulu met a Jew for the first time, a merchant at Kampala, who taught him the rites and practices of modern Judaism. This community, which took refuge in the region of Abayudaya, constitutes the only instance of an endogenous Jewish religious community in history. Although surviving the death of their historic leader, the people of this community suffered many difficulties, in particular during the tyrannical regime of Idi Amin Dada, who persecuted its members with bloody repression, forcing a large number of them to convert to Islam or Christianity. By 1979, only 300 remained, but with the help of the state of Israel (which nevertheless found it difficult to recognise this very unique community) and of the international Jewish diaspora, the community was revived and received religious recognition and the support of Israeli and American rabbis.
THREE COMMUNITIES, ONE PROJECT At the start of the new millennium, Joab Jonadav Keki, the leader of the Jewish community in the Mbale region, and also a farmer and musician, decided to visit all the producers in the region on foot, regardless of their religious persuasion, in order to find a communal solution to the crisis that was threatening the coffee sector. This worldwide crisis of overproduction has profoundly affected the standard of living of Ugandan producers. Some among them even had to sell the land they had been cultivating for decades or take their children out of school to make them work on the plantations. “Our most serious problem is religious”, said Joab Jonadav Kek5, who highlighted the strong tensions existing between the communities, in particular since the time of Idi Amin Dada, during which the Jews were held in contempt, bullied and publicly denounced as “killers of Christ” by the Christians and as “forgotten by God” by the Muslims. The words of conciliation and tolerance spoken by Joab Jonadav Keki bore fruit and in 2002, he was elected to the Council of the Sub-County of Namanyonyi with the support of the three religious communities who recognised him as a credible leader. Then in 2004, after long collective discussions, the cooperative of Mirembe Kawomera (“Delicious Peace” in Luganda, one of the Ugandan languages) was created with the objectives of bringing the communities together and contributing to their development. “We had long discussions”, recounts Joab Jonadav Keki, “concentrating on what brought us together. We looked for all these common points in our holy books. For example, we recognised the fact that we all greet each other with the word “Peace”: Shalom, Salaam, Mirembe.”
“I’m buying everything, i want the whole story” Once these common values had been recognised and accepted, an economic project had to be constructed and new markets had to be found. The new cooperative received many offers of support, in particular from the American singer, Laura Wetzler, who since the mid-1990s had been interested in the traditional Hebrew-African music of the Ugandan Jewish community.
ith her help, the Mirembe Kawomera cooperative W obtained the support of the CEO of the Thanksgiving Coffee Company, Paul Katzeff, who undertook to buy the production of the cooperative at a price about 30% higher than the market price and to support it in its certification process. “I’m buying everything”, said Paul Katzeff, “All or nothing, I want the whole story. I want to bring this story to the world”. The Mirembe Kawomera cooperative, which today numbers more than 1,000 small producers and their families, is itself part of the bigger Gumutindo cooperative. The three main religious communities are represented on the Executive Board: the current chairman is Jewish, the vice-chairman is Christian and the treasurer is Muslim.
“Now we are hoping to make our cooperative a model for development projects between the communities”, explains Joab Jonadav Keki Adding that “we hope other cooperatives will commit themselves to this model of peaceful coexistence. Together we can live much better. You cannot imagine the harmony and peace which now reign in our large community since the creation of the cooperative”.
DOUBLY CERTIFIED: ORGANIC AND FAIR TRADE The mild arabica variety grown by these farmers on the slopes of Mount Elgon is certified fair trade, organic, kosher and halal. Although relatively small in terms of quantity (about 50 tonnes), the production of the Mirembe Kawomera cooperative is recognised for its quality, mildness and flavour. As a result of its fair trade and organic certification, the sales of coffee by the cooperative not only provide more reasonable remuneration for the producers but also allow the cooperative to reinvest part of its revenue in social and economic development projects,
To find out more: www.mirembekawomera.com www.thanksgivingcoffee.com www.yesmagazine.org/issues/spiritual-uprising/java-justice
the training of growers and the setting up of sustainable projects. Fair trade certification also guarantees producers access to credit and advance payment for part of their production before harvesting. So, over the last few years, the members of the cooperative have together established a dynamic community and implemented a whole range of practical initiatives to help the farmers and their families, including the construction of schools, access to drinking water and the provision of electricity in the villages.
UNEX - UNION EXPORT SERVICES LTD. Born out of the remains of the old monopoly held by the Coffee Marketing Board, Union Export Services Ltd. (UNEX) is an export company that manages the marketing of the coffee productions of many Ugandan producer organisations. UNEX was labelled Fair Trade by FLO-CERT for the favourable commercial terms it offered to its groups of producers, in particular relating to the purchase price and prefinancing of sales. This system allows the growers to be paid on delivery of their production, without having to wait for it to be sold at the auctions in Mombasa. Today, UNEX is one of the main commercial representatives of fair trade importers who do not wish (or are unable) to work directly with the cooperatives and the groups of coffee producers.
To find out more: www.triodos.com
FAIR TRADE TEA IN UGANDA With an estimated production of 35,000 tonnes in 2007, Uganda is the 8th largest tea producer in the world6 and the 3rd largest in Africa. Unlike coffee and cocoa, tea is sold exclusively by way of private transactions or auctions held in Mombasa, Kenya for the whole of East African production. There is no futures market for tea. Aware of the structural advantages of the country in terms of agricultural production (fertile soil, low consumption of artificial fertilisers), the Ugandan government committed itself to boosting the sector by mobilising significant investment, in particular in processing activities (drying, etc.) and sector organisation projects.
This proactive approach of the Ugandan authorities to enhance the value of production is also reflected in the support provided for the creation of a certified organic sector and the welcome given to fair trade organisations. As an example, TraidCraft, one of the leading British fair trade tea importing organisations, buys mainly from production cooperatives in Uganda that benefit from advantageous terms guaranteed by the fair trade system. A legacy of the post-colonial era, the previously state-owned tea processing plants have gradually become the collective property of the small producers who have become willing participants in the development of fair trade in Uganda.
MABALE GROWERS TEA FACTORY Created in 1994 in the District of Kyenjojo, the Mabale Growers Tea Factory Ltd cooperative consists of more than 1,000 small growers who have come together to collectively manage a cooperative industrial site for their production of green leaf tea. The main varieties cultivated are Broken Pekoe, Pekoe Fannings and Pekoe Dust.
Located at the heart of one of the main growing areas in Uganda, on the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains (also known as the Mountains of the Moon), near Fort Portal, one of the main urban areas in the west of the country, this cooperative production site today consists of a processing plant, two large tea plantations and one eucalyptus plantation that provides the fuel for the plantâ€™s furnace. Originally built in 1969, the whole site was formerly managed by Ugandan government departments but was abandoned during the regime of Idi Amin Dada. It was only in the 1990s, when the government launched its Smallholders Tea Programme, that the site was taken over, renovated, restored and privatised in favour of an association of 950 shareholders, mostly owners of small plantations (less than two hectares on average) that supply the plant.
Collectively owned by the association of tea planters, the Mabale site today employs more than 100 permanent and as many temporary workers, who essentially perform the activities of drying, processing and bagging the tea, while the plantations at Nyamasoga and Mparo, also owned by the cooperative, support more than 100 staff. With the exception of production destined for the fair trade sector or (a very small proportion) for the local market, most of the tea processed on the site is sold to international buyers at the Mombasa auctions in Kenya. The Mabale Growers Tea Factory cooperative works in close collaboration with its ‘sister’ cooperative, the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory, which operates on a similar basis. In this rural region of Uganda, where the agricultural sector is the main provider of employment, these two cooperatives provide a significant proportion of the available development opportunities to the local population, mainly small farmers, the majority of whom are just about able to support their families. Despite an environment that is very favourable for agriculture, the region is poor and villages with electricity are rare. Most of the population does not even own a bicycle. The cooperative site therefore plays a fundamental role in the local economy. Effectively, it offers producers commercial outlets that are all the more attractive because they form part of the fair trade system. In fact, not only are member producers remunerated at a price per kilo of about 25% above the market price, but this purchase price is guaranteed over time and forms part of the contractual relations between the producer and the cooperative, which provide for the purchase by the latter of the whole harvest (providing the quality remains constant). In 1997, the Mabale Growers Tea Factory cooperative became Fair Trade certified. The benefits of this certification were very quickly reinvested in the production system, with the installation of modern production lines, the construction of roads and the organisation of training courses for the producers.
This virtuous circle led to an improvement in quality and to an increase in the sale prices at the auctions, and therefore to an increase in revenue, most of which was redistributed to the shareholding producers. Only a small part of production is sold through the fair trade circuits (less than 5%), but the premium paid by the importers in the fair trade sector constitutes a major contribution for the site, the cooperative and its members. This fair trade premium system is an additional amount calculated on the basis of the volume of sales in the fair trade circuit and is systematically reinvested in production investments or to support collective economic and social projects. A special committee consisting of elected representatives of the shareholders and workers decides how to use these amounts. Silver Kasoro-Atwoki, a grower and member of the committee, says: “Thanks to the fair trade system, we have considerably improved the quality and quantity of our tea production. We have opened new roads in the region, built a health centre and added a new building to the secondary school. Fair trade is making a very significant contribution to the social development of our community and allows us to look forward to a better future for our children”7. In 2008, the Mabale Growers Tea Factory cooperative factory was the first Ugandan tea processing plant to be HACCP certified (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point). This certificate, which validates the methods and principles of health and safety management used in the plant, confirms the intention of the cooperative to commit itself to a quality control system for its products.
To find out more: www.mabaletea.com www.cofta.org www.flo-cert.net www.fairtrade.org.uk/producers/tea/mabale_growers_tea_factory/default.aspx www.cafedirect.co.uk/our_partners/africa/uganda/mabale
MPANGA GROWERS TEA FACTORY Located in the District of Kabarole in western Uganda, the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory processing plant is one of the four sites (along with Mabale, Igara and Kayonza) that formerly belonged to the Uganda Tea Growers Corporation (UTGC), an organisation created by the public authorities in February 1966. Originally built between 1971 and 1976 to process the harvests of local producers and provide them with a wide range of services, these large industrial sites suffered a long period of neglect and deprivation during the Amin regime. The plant only began proper operation in 1988 under the aegis of the UTGC. In 1995, immediately after the liberalisation of the tea and coffee markets in Africa, the Mpanga site was privatised in favour of the local producers who jointly acquired shares in the new organisation, which took the name of Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Limited. Supported by the European Union, the process of liberalisation launched in the 1990s by the Ugandan state was clearly aimed at encouraging small producers to invest in collaborative projects, to develop their production and mutualise their investments. Since 2000, the 200,000 shares in the company have been fully owned by some 500 local producers who have adopted a cooperative type organisation headed by a Board of Directors who are elected at the General Meeting of Shareholders and who are all tea growers. With more than 460 workers employed directly by the company on the site or in the production areas, the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Limited directly supports about 4,700 people.
Besides its processing plant, the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Limited owns four tea plantations, which are in addition to the growing areas owned individually by the shareholder farmers, giving a total of some 1,300 hectares (of which 16% belongs to the company). Like its sister organisation at Mabale, the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory sells its processed production on three markets: sales to international buyers at the Mombasa auctions in Kenya, the local market and the fair trade sector. Although the latter accounts for only 2% of sales, it represents far more for company management, who want to develop this type of sales. When Martin Odoch, one of the managers of Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Limited, was invited to the Fair Trade Fortnight in Devon, England, he pointed out that “On the tropical slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, the tea producers who own Mpanga Factory harvest and process more than just tea. We process our harvests with the greatest care and we market it with a smile because we know that thanks to fair trade, we will not suffer sleepless nights wondering whether the market will reward our efforts by offering us a reasonable price. I would really like to emphasise the importance we attach to fair trade consumers, because it is thanks to them that our producers can continue smiling in Uganda”.8
The premium paid by fair trade importers, including CoffeeDirect, has in particular allowed a number of production investments to be made on the Mpanga site, including the purchase of a modern industrial bagging machine and the construction of a canteen and toilets for workers on the site. But the main benefit for the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory of its favoured relations with customers in the fair trade sector involves the adoption and implementation in 2006 of the HACCP system, which defines the international standards for health and safety in the farm produce industry. Implemented as part of the CoffeeDirect Producer Partnership Programme, the adoption of the HACCP standard has greatly benefited workers on the site (who now have new toilet facilities and better working conditions), but, above all, it has contributed to increasing the quality of the finished product while offering important guarantees to all company customers (in particular British importers). Considering the characteristics of the international tea market, this type of initiative makes a real contribution to increasing the sales price of the product, thereby guaranteeing continuous quality at international level. A holder of a Food Hygiene Certificate awarded under the project, Patrick Tiberondwa, one of the production managers, says: “The introduction of the HACCP system and BRC (British Retail Consortium) food standards and the training carried out has allowed us to improve all the production processes, resulting in a better quality tea”.9
To find out more: www.mpangatea.com www.cofta.org www.flo-cert.net www.cafedirect.co.uk/our_partners/africa/uganda/mpanga www.teanewsdirect.com
IGARA GROWERS TEA FACTORY LIMITED Set up in 1966 by the Ugandan parliament to organise the tea production sector, the Uganda Tea Growers Corporation (UTGC) constructed four large industrial sites, including the Igara factory, which was completed in 1969. For more than 20 years, the production of tea in Uganda was organised around these large publicly owned facilities that were responsible for the processing, packaging and marketing of tea production. But, like the rest of the economy, the sector suffered terribly during the years of dictatorship and war that ravaged the country between the end of the 1960s and the mid-1980s. In 1995, with the liberalisation of the tea and coffee sectors, the capital of Igara Growers Tea Factory Limited was opened up to local producers who were invited to buy shares in the new organisation by deducting the purchase price of their shares from the proceeds of the harvests they delivered to the company. Located in the District of Bushenyi, an area of low hills 350 km to the southwest of the capital Kampala, close to the borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Igara site today employs about 200 people who process the black tea leaves delivered by approximately 4,000 affiliated growers and provides them with a complete range of technical services (production inputs, training, etc.). The Igara region is very poor and many producers are forced to deliver their harvest to the factory on foot, in the absence of usable roads.
The Igara factory is organised following a participatory cooperative model and processes black tea, which is the speciality of the region. The processing operation consists of several stages: the leaves are dried, crushed, fermented and roasted, then bagged and transported to Kampala or Mombasa in Kenya. The shareholder-producers are organised into committees of about 30 members based at collection centres distributed over the whole territory covered by the enterprise. The members of the management committee are elected democratically at annual general meetings and some are appointed to the Uganda Tea Development Agency, a management organisation set up jointly with the sister factory at Kayonza to contribute to the overall quality of Ugandan black tea. Like the majority of the tea production cooperatives in Uganda, Igara Growers Tea Factory only markets a small proportion of its production on the fair trade markets, the bulk being sold at the auctions at Mombasa where some of the main East African storage sites are located. As a supplier (since 1998) to CoffeeDirect, one of the main European fair trade importers of tea and coffee, Igara Growers Tea Factory Limited has benefited from additional income generated by sales to the fair trade sector and made major investments to the benefit of affiliated growers. This includes more than 30 local collection centres that have been created to facilitate access to the site for the most remote producers.
To find out more: www.ugatea.com www.solidarmonde.fr/prod_igara.pdf www.flo-cert.net www.cafedirect.co.uk/our_partners/africa/uganda/igara
A premium committee consisting of three women and 10 men, elected to represent shareholder-producers, site workers and the managers of the organisation, allocates the premium paid by fair trade customers. This premium has funded several major projects to the benefit of the local population. The first expenditure was allocated for purchasing educational materials (books, pens, pencils) for the children of the tea growers and factory workers. The committee also agreed to the construction of a maternity home, which received additional aid from the government. Previously, women had to be carried (normally on foot) for 60 km to give birth at the nearest hospital (problems arising on the way resulted in a high mortality rate). In 2004, almost 1,000 women had their babies at the maternity home. The fair trade premiums were also used to implement a drinking water project (preservation of water sources), to buy computer equipment and to set up an Internet connection in Igara. As Robert Ejiku, one of the factory production managers, points out: â€œSelling our production to CoffeeDirect has broadened our marketing options, but the most important benefit is the premium we receive, which we use for community projectsâ€?10.
KAYONZA GROWERS TEA FACTORY LIMITED Tea growing on the Kayonza site started in 1959, with the construction of the first nurseries by the Uganda Development Corporation. Together with the plants at Mabale, Igara and Mpanga, the black tea production and processing plant at Kayonza was one of the first agro-industrial projects of the postcolonial era. Initially managed by the UTGC, these large production sites suffered from years of war and dictatorship and were unable to adapt to the changes in world markets before falling into bankruptcy at the start of the 1990s. Under severe threat, the Ugandan tea sector, with the massive support of the European Union, then embarked on a liberalisation process that allowed the producers at each of the different sites to become its owners.
Thus between 1995 and 2000, the 4,000 growers at the Kayonza site, in the District of Kanungu in the south-west of the country, purchased all the shares in the factory and adjoining plantations, mostly through advance payments on future harvests. The majority of the black tea harvested and processed in the Kayonza factory is sold at the Mombasa auctions. The owner-growers (of whom more than 15% are women) set themselves a clear objective: â€œTo become a profitable and sustainable company producing tea of excellent quality through efficient management, to the benefit of small producersâ€?. The HACCP certified Kayonza plant is run by a Management Committee consisting of six members who are elected at the annual general meeting. Site management and operation are entrusted to the Uganda Tea Development Agency, which also manages the Igara production site. Set up jointly by the two companies, the Tea Development Agency provides both cooperatives with services in many areas, in particular administration, finance and marketing.
Based in the capital Kampala, the Agency employs experienced managers, most of whom were trained at the two production sites. Today, Kayonza is the leading producer of Ugandan black tea, with sales of 2.2 million tonnes in 2008, of which only a small proportion is sold to international fair trade buyers. From 1998, partnerships with the fair trade organisations (with CoffeeDirect in particular as part of a Producer Partnership Programme) has generated fair trade premiums amounting to some EUR 250,000 over seven years, allowing many community and social projects to be implemented, including the construction of 13 primary and secondary schools where more than 5,000 children from the region receive their education. In addition, three healthcare centres and a maternity home have been built in a region where pregnant women had to walk for five to seven days to reach the nearest maternity clinic. A road has been constructed to provide access to certain plantations and a telephone line has been installed for the factory.
FAIR TRADE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE MARKETING INITIATIVES IN UGANDA 30
FRUITS OF THE NILE: SUSTAINABLE AND FAIR INNOVATION Kate Sebag, Angello Ndyaguma and Adam Brett set up the Fruits of the Nile cooperative in 1991 to provide Ugandan fruit and vegetable producers with better marketing opportunities for their products. From the beginning, the main challenge for the cooperative was giving these producers access to growth markets in a landlocked country which in addition had no suitable packaging infrastructures (canning factories or bottling plants for fruit juice, for example). At the time, many producers were unable to store or sell off their fruits and vegetables, which in the absence of access to markets ended up rotting. To resolve this thorny problem, Kate Sebag, Angello Ndyaguma and Adam Brett designed and developed a new type of solar dryer built from mosquito screens (which are readily available on the local market) and strong plastic frames. With the support of local economic agencies, they were able to test their new natural preservation system with local producers. The first sun-dried fruit and vegetables using this innovative process were sold on the UK market under the name â€œTropical Wholefoodsâ€?. This initial trial had some commercial success and the managers of Fruits of the Nile then undertook an extensive awareness and training programme directed at Ugandan fruit and vegetable producers regarding this natural method of conservation, through workshops supported by the UK Natural Resources Institute and subsequently by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa). Thanks to the provision by the cooperative of the basic equipment for building these solar dryers, many producers are now drying their bananas, pineapples and pawpaws using a completely natural and ecological method. Dorothy and David Mugabe, two local producers, dry 200 to 300 kilos of bananas a year and the sale of this produce to the cooperative provides them with more than 70% of their income.
Over time, an organisation has been set up, and today, in more than 60 villages mainly located in the south and south-west of the country, close to 700 farmers supply the operators running these “solar farms”. The Fruits of the Nile cooperative supports the whole sector by organising training, mainly in the fields of quality, hygiene, marketing and exchanging good practices. For the producers, the economic benefits became apparent very quickly. Noraj Kagimu, producer in the Mbarara region, says: “I’m one of the founding members of a women’s association here. I first heard about these solar dryers at Masha. I talked about them to my friends in the association. Previously, I ran a shop and a restaurant, but when I compared the income I was earning from this activity with the income from the solar dryers, I quickly saw the dryers were producing more. So, I began and today our group has three drying centres. For me, this drying activity has provided me with a new source of income, especially after the death of my husband. Now, I can pay for the education of my children using the money I earn from drying my fruit. Paying health care, buying clothes… all this is now possible with the money we earn from the sale of our dried fruits. What is more, I succeeded in obtaining a good profit from my banana production and I feed the banana waste to my cattle, which are producing more milk. Today, I employ five women full-time in the sun-drying business and I buy fruit from my friends. Without the Fruits of the Nile cooperative, I would be forced to beg from my in-laws, especially since the death of my husband”11. All the sun-dried fruit and vegetable produce is purchased by the Fruits of the Nile cooperative in accordance with fair trade rules. The cooperative also helps the local populations to obtain alternative funding or preferential loans for their development projects. The intervention by Fruits of the Nile has mobilised new sources of finance, including the European Development Fund for Micro-projects, the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development, the Gatsby Trust and the Shell Foundation.
Using these different sources of support, the Fruits of the Nile cooperative annually exports more than 80 tonnes of dried fruit, mainly pineapples and bananas. And, in 2005, the efforts made by the cooperative allowed all the participants in the production process to be trained in organic growing methods and to obtain the relevant certification (HACCP). The trading profits generated by this certification have allowed the cooperative to make new investments, in particular the building of a new storage warehouse, in full compliance with the HACCP standards, and at a stone’s throw from the sources of the Nile. In 2008, Fruits of the Nile received the Ashden Award for sustainable energy savings, rewarding the cooperative for the innovative and reproducible character of its system and for the support it is giving to producers in the management and exploitation of solar energy. The example given provided by Jane Nawuliro, a producer in the cooperative, is instructive: “When I started solar drying I realised it was paying more than my previous sewing business. I mobilised some women in the Tukolelere Wamu Women’s Association of which I was the Secretary and we bought a solar dryer. I do not regret anything. I managed to buy a plot of land, constructed a storage shelter and now my family and I are happy. My house has solar power, which runs the dryers during the day and provides electricity at night for lighting, the television and the radio. I have even given employment to a number of local women.”12.
To find out more: ww.fmfoods.co.uk/tw/fon.htm w www.cofta.org www.ashdenawards.org/files/reports/fruits_of_the_nile_case_study_2008_0.pdf
NDALI ESTATE Managed by Lulu Sturdy, a British woman who inherited the business, Ndali Estate is a tropical vanilla farm perched on the slopes of Mount Ndali in the middle of the extinct volcanic craters and lakes of the Mountains of the Moon in western Uganda. The company grows its own organic vanilla, which is supplemented by buying the harvests of some 600 regional vanilla producers under fair trade terms. The actual purchase price is calculated on the basis of sector prices to which a margin and the fair trade premium are added, the latter being reinvested in the collective projects of the community (in particular the construction of a school). These terms of remuneration are especially attractive to local producers, since the world price of vanilla fell significantly in 2003 and 2004. The vanilla marketed by Ndali Estate is FLO-CERT certified and also certified organic. No pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilisers, or additives are used: The vanilla from Ndali Estate is 100% natural, and of superior quality due to the particular cultivation conditions and the special properties of the volcanic soils of the Mountains of the Moon.
To find out more: www.fmfoods.co.uk/tw/ndaliestate.htm www.flo-cert.net
THE FAIR TRADE CRAFTS SECTOR IN UGANDA
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN ORGANISATION NAWOU Founded in 1992, the National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU) is a non-governmental umbrella organisation for more than 1,000 local women’s associations in Uganda. Its objectives are the improvement of the living conditions of Ugandan women and establishing “a body of reliable and united women, with the necessary knowledge and experience to empower women”. Originally founded to coordinate and represent these associations at national and international level, the organisation has gradually taken on new competences and tasks. Thus, NAWOU currently organises training courses for Ugandan women, supports the economic projects of its members, runs micro-loan programmes and literacy projects and promotes access to health care and HIV-awareness campaigns for women. Since its foundation, NAWOU has gained considerable credit and its influence now extends to the spheres of public life. Several of its members have been elected to the national parliament or to local and provincial authorities. In addition, through its affiliation to the International Council of Women and the International Council for Social Welfare, NAWOU collaborates in numerous international programmes in partnership with large NGOs, development cooperation agencies and networks of associations. NAWOU has also been granted the status of consultative organisation by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The activities of NAWOU’s Craft Industries department are managed according to fair trade principles. This important department of the association is tasked with training women in craft trades, and providing them with technical assistance and the ne cessary resources for launching their projects. NAWOU also supports the production, promotion and marketing of the resulting craft creations at local and international level. These women receive loans and advice from NAWOU and are put in touch with international buyers. Today, the Craft Industries department of the Association has close to 200 female craft workers who work in the dozen or so workshops run by NAWOU throughout the country. A large number of these women live with HIV and only have access to health care through the Association. All the objets d’art made by these craft workers are created using traditional techniques and only natural dyes are used in making the jewellery, toys, musical instruments, clothing and baskets marketed by the women of NAWOU both locally and internationally (in particular Australia, New Zealand, United States, Spain and the United Kingdom). Because of its social and economic support activities, NAWOU has been a member of IFAT (the International Fair Trade Association, which in 2009 changed its name to WFTO, the World Fair Trade Organisation) and COFTA (Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa) since 1995. Since first attending a fair trade exhibition in Germany in 1998, the organisation has regularly participated at this type of event, where its products are always successfully received and where its managers meet international buyers, monitor trends and study the requirements of importers, in particular Oxfam and Ten Thousand Villages.
According to Pamela Kyagera, the marketing manager, “We can go a long way in fighting poverty through fair trade. The women you see bringing in craft products would never do it through conventional markets. They would not sell in markets that are far from their homes. They wouldn’t have enough information and they would be exploited”13. The great majority of women craft workers use this income to improve their livelihoods and support their families. The story of Joyce Nakazi highlights the difficult living conditions experienced by these women who bear the burden of the survival of their family. Joyce Nakazi makes coloured baskets that she sells through the NAWOU collection centre at Kampala. She is a widow, a mother of three young children, and is disabled following an accident. When her husband died in 1998, she was left with only a house, for which she could no longer pay the rent. She survived thanks to NAWOU. “I have benefited a lot from the sale of these baskets and I have managed to build a house from my savings. I have also paid for the education of my eldest son, who has passed the university entrance exam. I used to work as an assistant at a nursery school near our church but the money wasn’t enough. So I left to make baskets,”14 she explains. But, the NAWOU support staff does not limit itself to social and economic support of women in need. They also teach them the importance of how the quality of work influences the value of their creations. Pamela Kyagera works with about 70 women from different parts of Uganda to develop this concept: “It isn’t easy to teach women to understand quality requirements but over the years they have learned. And, of course, we have had to teach our customers to expect some variations because these craft products are made by human beings.”15 Lastly, the craft products created under the aegis of NAWOU form part of a natural and environmentally friendly approach. The baskets are made from banana fibres and leaves collected after harvesting the fruit, which means that not only do the craft workers not have to spend money for their raw materials, but also their products are natural and sustainable.
To find out more: www.nawouganda.org www.nawou.interconnection.org www.cofta.org www.tenthousandvillages.ca www.infosdelaplanete.org
UGANDA CRAFTS 2000 LIMITED Thanks to the financial and technical support of Oxfam, Uganda Crafts now employs more than 300 craft workers, of whom 85% are women. The Uganda Crafts group, whose head office is still located in Kampala, has a shop run by disabled people in which some 42% of its membersâ€™ production is sold, the rest being sold on international markets (in particular in fair trade shops).
Despite some recent economic successes and a relatively high growth rate, Uganda remains a poor country, with difficult living conditions for the most deprived, in particular single women and those physically and mentally affected by twenty years of war and repression. These people were the inspiration for Betty Kinene, a Ugandan businesswoman, and Marilyn Dodge, a UNICEF volunteer, to found Uganda Crafts in 1983. This organisation helps single women and their families, the disabled, orphans and people suffering from HIV/ AIDS to learn a craft trade, and to manufacture and sell their crafts. Originally, the project was designed to overcome the lack of public resources to assist the weakest members of Ugandan society. At that time, Uganda Crafts was only a small workshop near the Grand Hotel in Kampala.
Uganda Crafts gives its members the opportunity to sell their creations (in particular unusual jewellery and woven and coloured articles), but it also offers them technical training in product design, styling and marketing. In addition, the craft workers employed by Uganda Crafts have access to health care and transport services, and are eligible for emergency loans and assistance with launching new products. In the 1990s, the organisation grew, thanks in particular to the support of international organisations such as Ten Thousand Villages, and it became well-known outside Uganda. Since 1988, a major part of production has been exported. In June 2000, Uganda Crafts became a private company under the name Uganda Crafts 2000 Limited, but it continues to follow its original founding principles: to create employment for the least able, to train them in craft trades, to encourage creativity and innovation, to preserve the African cultures of traditional creation, all within the framework of the principles and values of the fair trade system. In 2007, the company became a member of IFAT (since renamed WFTO, the World Fair Trade Organisation) and of COFTA. Since its creation, Uganda Crafts has devoted itself to applying the principles of fair trade by ensuring adequate (and quick) remuneration of its member craft workers, and also by encouraging respect for the environment and for traditions. Milly is 28. She is an orphan, a single mother, and has to look after four children on her own. As an expert in the original creation of hand-woven coloured baskets, Milly is one of the most skilled craft workers in the Uganda Crafts workshop in Kampala. After years spent making baskets with Uganda Crafts, she now trains new arrivals, who are mainly children and single mothers. Milly is very proud of what she has achieved with the support of Uganda Crafts. She has been able to have a house built and all her children go to school.
To find out more: www.ugandacrafts2000ltd.org www.cofta.org www.tenthousandvillages.ca http://awava.blogspot.com/2009/04/fair-trade-feature-uganda-crafts-2000. html
BEAD FOR LIFE Founded in 2004 by three Americans impressed by the quality and beauty of the paper beads made by Ugandan women, the NGO BeadforLife set as its objective the raising of living standards for poor and abandoned women, widows and those affected by HIV, by marketing their craft products in local markets and in the shops that the organisation opened in the United States (Boulder, Colorado), and in Paris from April 2009. As part of an overall objective aimed at eradicating poverty among Ugandan women, the BeadforLife initiative involves training women in creating jewellery and bags from painted or varnished beads made from recycled paper. Then, when they have acquired sufficient skills, BeadforLife helps them to set up their own business by making a long-term commitment to buy their products at prices that will allow them to provide for their needs and those of their families. The organisation also offers these businesswomen additional training in marketing and design, as well as access to additional funding to start up and develop their micro-businesses.
Jennifer Rowell-Gastard, the BeadforLife coordinator in Europe, sums up the philosophy of the organisation like this: “BeadforLife works for the eradication of extreme poverty by creating ‘bridges of understanding and trade’ between the poorest Africans and concerned citizens of the world. The Ugandan women convert coloured paper into pretty beads, and kind people open their hearts, their homes and their communities to buy and sell these beads. The beads therefore become income, food, health care, enrolment in schools and hope. It is a small miracle which enriches us all.”16 She adds: “Our bead-makers and designers are very poor women, living on less than two dollars a day, who work very hard, who are intelligent and so strong in their desire to improve themselves”. Besides buying the products made by these women and selling them, BeadforLife supports many local development projects in the areas of health care, vocational training of young people, education and housing. These projects are fully funded by the sales of beads and jewellery and improve the everyday life of not just the craft workers who produce them but also of other people liv-
ing in destitution in Uganda. To achieve this, BeadforLife has set up a programme of subsidies to support other not-for-profit organisations working to eradicate poverty. Jennifer Rowell-Gastard emphasises this point: “All our profits are reinvested in our Community Development Projects. BeadforLife has its own programme to support other non-commercial organisations working to eradicate poverty. Through this collaboration, we can increase our ability to counter extreme poverty. At the present time, we are financially supporting about a dozen organisations”. The objects created by the BeadforLife craft workers are truly magnificent. Beads of all sizes are handmade from coloured paper, and then painted or varnished using natural dyes and colouring agents before being assembled into necklaces, bags, bracelets and earrings. Production of these beads made exclusively from recycled paper makes a very positive contribution to protecting the environment. The bead-makers cut out triangles from pages in coloured magazines, old calendars, leaflets and cereal cartons, before hand-rolling and gluing them to make beads, which are then decorated with an ecological friendly and odourless acrylic varnish.
The method of marketing these beads and jewellery created by the Ugandan women is highly original, as Jennifer Rowell-Gastard explains: “We encourage hundreds of women throughout the world to hold BeadParties in their homes and places of work, in their churches and in their clubs. Holding a BeadParty or providing beads for community events is fun and an easy way to help eradicate poverty. We make it easier with our little guides, teaching aids and the pretty beads we offer to these generous volunteers throughout the world”.
In fact, for each USD 10 necklace sold by BeadforLife : 17 • USD 1.10 is used to finance the operations in Uganda • USD 2.00 goes directly to the craft worker • USD 2.60 covers marketing costs in the North American market (including transport, promotion, etc.) • The remaining USD 4.30 is invested in community development projects in Uganda. This means that just under 3/4 of BeadforLife’s turnover on a sale in the United States goes back to Uganda.
The list of initiatives carried out between 2004 and 2009 by the BeadforLife organisation is truly impressive : 18 • Training
of more than 660 bead-makers in the production of paper beads • Support for the creation of more
than 150 craft businesses by women trained in bead-making, who have in turn employed another 1,300 persons • Support
for the construction of more than 110 houses for bead-makers and their families • Building
of a village hall and construction of two wells • Launch
of a vocational training programme for impoverished young people • Funding
of qualifying seminars for vocational training students • Development
of a subsidy programme to support other organisations working for the eradication of poverty.
The story of Fatuma, one of the BeadforLife bead-makers, was reported by the journalist Teresa Morrow in the Seattle Times19, and illustrates the harshness of daily life for many Ugandan women and the importance of organisations like BeadforLife which welcomes them when they are rejected by everyone else. Fatuma was kidnapped at the age of 13, when the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army rebel soldiers entered her village in northern Uganda while she and the other children were in school. “They came when we were in the classroom, at 10 in the morning. When the bell rang for break, one of the teachers realized we were surrounded.” The rebels left the younger children alone, but they took the eldest, including Fatuma, who whispers: “After that, you just die, you wither, you just surrender your life. Some, many, were killed. Those who resisted or tried to escape were killed in a horrible way.” Fatuma was forced to stay with the rebels for two years, until the day when she managed to escape, aged 15, pregnant by one of the many rebels who had raped her. Her family threatened to kill the baby, so she fled once more. She married later, but her husband died when she was pregnant, leaving her with four children. Fatuma was taken in by BeadforLife and learned to make beads and jewellery. She stayed in the Friendship Village, run by BeadforLife and Habitat for Humanity, another NGO specialising in the construction of houses for the poorest populations in developing countries. With this support, Fatuma was able to build her own house, where she lives today with her family. Her four children all attend school. BeadforLife is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
To find out more: www.beadforlife.fr
SUSTAINABLE TRADE INITIATIVES IN UGANDA 41
SUSTAINABLE TRADE INITIATIVES IN UGANDA Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, consumers have become increasingly aware of ecological issues and the living conditions of the poorest populations. In response to this gradual growth in awareness, there has been a vast increase in the number of initiatives offering 21st century consumers sustainable trade alternatives that are friendlier to the environment and to the most vulnerable populations. In using the word “sustainable”, the proponents of these initiatives wish to emphasise not only decent working conditions, but also the protection of workers, and the fact that these commercial exchanges are made with a genuine consideration for environmental resources and a concern for the preservation and regeneration of raw materials. We speak of sustainable trade when the commercial exchanges of goods and services generate social, economic and environmental benefits in accordance with the fundamental principles of sustainable development: • Creation of economic value; • Reduction of poverty and inequalities; • Regeneration of environmental resources. These principles are all the more essential when developing countries are the first victims of global warming and damage to the environment, resulting in drought and floods to the detriment of the peasant farmers that make up the bulk of the population in these countries. To meet these major challenges, the Ugandan government and organisations have invested massively in the development of organic farming and sustainable trade. As in many Southern countries, the concept of sustainable development in Uganda is seen less as a moral obligation or a debt to future generations than as a principle for the economic and social development of the country and of the whole region. In practice, this means studying to which extent a given environmental action could have a direct effect on the economy of the country and on its social structure. It is in the context of these considerations that the enormous efforts made by the Ugandan government to set up and sustain a certified organic farming sector in Uganda should be seen. The country is the African leader in terms of surface area dedicated to this type of production (296,000 hectares), ahead of Tunisia (158,000 hectares), Ethiopia (140,000 hectares) and Tanzania (62,400 hectares)20. The other sustainable initiatives we have observed and considered also fall within this policy of creating growth and value. Whether this involves, as with Fruits of the Nile, designing and distributing fruit processing (drying) systems using solar energy, or the Ndali Estate, rethinking production cultures in terms of carefully designed mixtures of essences and plants capable of mutual enrichment, each of these projects meets the requirements for sustainable development, while directly boosting the income of the producers.
To find out more: www.riaed.net
UGANDA ORGANIC CERTIFICATION LTD. UGOCERT The idea to set up a Ugandan Organic Certification programme was raised in 1998 at the first international conference of organic farmers held in Uganda. The creation of NOGAMU (National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda) in 2001 was marked by a move to bring together all the participants in the sector and enabled the development of a national programme of certification, which resulted in the definition of national standards (Uganda Organic standards - UOS) and the creation of an agency responsible for the certification of Ugandan organic produce. Thus was born UgoCert, the Ugandan Organic Certification Company. In 2001, UgoCert founded the Organic Standards Committee responsible for defining the certification criteria, and, a year later, a certification programme was initiated with the support of Grolink AB, a specialist Swedish organisation, and financial support from the EPOPA (Export Promotion of Organic Products from Africa) programme. Recognised as a certifying organisation in 2004, UgoCert is part of the NOGAMU group, which brings together all the players in the Ugandan organic sector, including private companies, consumer organisations, NGOs and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority. The creation of UgoCert satisfied the desire of these players to set up a certification agency capable of offering all the necessary services to Ugandan operators in the organic sector as well as presenting a credible image to international buyers in the organic sector. Accordingly, UgoCert set itself the principal task of â€œcontributing to the development and reinforcement of environmentally sustainable production systems by developing standards and guidelines and encouraging confidence in organic production. UgoCert will work actively to promote environmentally sustainable production systems in Uganda and the rest of the worldâ€?21. UgoCert has also been entrusted by the Ugandan authorities with a series of complementary tasks ranging from providing information to operators, representation in negotiations with international authorities, participation in cooperation programmes and promotion of the national sector.
To find out more: www.ugocert.org
KAWACOM Founded in 1996, Kawacom has rapidly established itself as one of the main export companies of robusta coffee in Uganda. Since 1998, the company has been engaged in international trade in organically-grown coffee and has become the first Ugandan export company specialising in organic Ugandan coffee. Kawacom became famous through its participation in programmes supporting the organic processing of several local coffee producers, in particular in the District of Bushenyi, in partnership with Krav Control and AgroEco Conseil, two European agencies that support this type of approach. A coffee grower from the Mount Elgon area explains why he participates in this programme: â€œOne of my friends told me about the organic project and Kawacom. Thanks to the high prices offered, I will be able to send my children to a better schoolâ€?22. With the support of an adviser from Kawacom, he has started attending the programmeâ€™s training courses and is making initial improvements to his land. His farm may be certified organic next year. Today, more than 10,000 producers are operating under the auspices of Kawacom to produce and sell organic coffee, making Uganda the leading producer of organically-grown coffee in sub-Saharan Africa.
To find out more: www.kawacom.com www.forumducommerce.org
THE BUKONZO ORGANICS LABEL This project was initiated by a consortium of NGOs coordinated by the Kiima Foods organisation, and has the objective of creating and establishing an organic certification label for the production of coffee, fruit and vanilla in Uganda, by strengthening the ties between isolated growers in order to help them market their produce. Under the umbrella name of Bukonzo Organics, these six non-governmental organisations are developing this programme that envisages the implementation of training courses for growers as well as a range of initiatives that help small businesses to form primary cooperatives, implement internal control systems (ICS) and organise themselves to manage local processing units. The most specific objective of this project was to establish cooperation between the local NGOs and train them in methods of setting up and monitoring internal control systems. Today, Bukonzo Organics employs inspectors who monitor and train growers in compliance with the rules for internal control systems. Although subsidised by development aid organisations, this process for obtaining an organic label is long and costly, but significant progress has been made and the producers must concentrate on the certification of coffee and on setting up a cooperative in their own right, rather than under the aegis of Bukonzo Organics. With the support of the six NGOs that initiated the project and the Kabarole Research Centre at Kasese, the growers involved in this programme are working to fulfil the requirements for certification (UGOCERT standard) and to increase their production capacities.
NUCAFE, GLOBAL COOPERATION Organising the production sector Originally founded in 1995 as the Ugandan Farmers Coffee Association, the organisation changed its name to the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) in 2003 to promote the implementation of the strategic plan proposed by its member producers. With its 125 member associations spread over the whole country, NUCAFE has set itself the task of â€œdeveloping a sustainable system for associations of coffee producers wishing to increase the revenue from their plantationsâ€?. This doctrine forms part of the policy of supporting producers weakened by the crisis in the coffee markets and the diseases that have been afflicting plantations since the mid-1990s. To meet these challenges and support the coffee production sector, NUCAFE is developing programmes to support farmers and cooperatives to encourage them to invest and take over all the links in the coffee production chain, from cultivation, through the processing and packaging processes, to final marketing. In this regard, NUCAFE provides producers and producer organisations with a range of services and materials that they can use to improve their strategic positions in the coffee value chain, increase their margins and take control of the higher added value activities. Some of the associations belonging to NUCAFE are themselves producer groups. Overall, these associations represent more than 100,000 producer families (or almost 6% of the total number of plantations in Uganda). NUCAFE encourages them to perform as many functions as possible in the overall coffee production and marketing system in Uganda, in order to set up a network capable of implementing transversal projects in this sector, disseminating new practices and mutualising investments and innovations. NUCAFE has put a lot of effort in improving production quality, developing new ranges of high added value products that it offers to overseas buyers on behalf of its member producers.
Sustainable fair trade coffee From 2007, the organisation has invested in the production of sustainable fair trade coffee with the help of western partners, including Agricord, Agriterra, USAID and Oxfam International. Thus, as part of its Strategic Plan 2008 - 2012, NUCAFE has set itself the objective of “certifying products as fair trade, UTZ- certified and organic, and monitoring 10% of its member associations” during this period, with the aim that “70% of its overall system can be considered sustainable”. UTZ certification With a strong presence in East Africa, UTZ Certified is a worldwide certification programme that promotes “responsible production and buying of coffee” by offering “the guarantee of a social and environmental quality in the production of coffee”. Managed by the UTZ Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organisation, based in the Netherlands and Guatemala, the UTZ Code of Conduct covers three areas: good farming and commercial practices, the social criteria under the conventions of the International Labour Organisation, and environmental criteria. Certification, a difficult path The example of UTZ certification clearly illustrates the difficulties met by small growers and producer cooperatives in participating in sustainable certification programmes. In fact, as shown by studies in this area, it is often the largest plantations or those whose managers are already aware of certification issues that are today most able to take part in these programmes; in other words, rarely those who have most need of them.
NUCAFE has managed to set up a management system under which these obstacles can be managed and removed one after the other. In fact, at the Uganda National Coffee Farmers’ Convention in 2008, the organisation announced that one of its first member co-operatives, the Kibinge Coffee Farmers Association, had been UTZ certified; the first in Uganda.
To find out more: www.nucafe.org www.omdm.be www.fao.org www.utz-certified.org
This is where the role of an organisation like NUCAFE comes in, managing certification projects for relatively large groups of producer associations with the support of agencies promoting and certifying fair trade, organic and sustainable production. The latter are in fact fully aware of this situation and of the fact that, in order to support producer organisations in obtaining certification, there are a number of obstacles to overcome: The costs of certification: These are largely dependent on the type of certification sought but overall the transition to certified production imposes relatively high organisational costs on the producer, including both direct costs (documentation, research, certification, obligatory investments, etc.) and indirect costs (time spent in training, time to increased profitability, compliance with social and environmental legislation, etc.). Organisational changes: In some regards, the change in habits and methods often constitutes one of the main obstacles to certification. In fact, in the domains of both production and marketing, certification requires producers to adopt new practices whose benefits are not always immediately apparent. The abandonment of easy solutions: Obtaining sustainable, responsible or organic certification in particular requires the abandonment of pesticides or artificial fertilisers (although not widely used in Uganda) in favour of natural solutions that sometimes require extra work on the part of the growers, and adaptation of the plantations (for example planting mixed species to enrich the soil naturally).
SUSTAINABLE FISHING ON LAKE VICTORIA The second-largest freshwater lake in the world with a surface area of 68,800 km², Lake Victoria borders three East African countries: Tanzania (51% of its coastline), Uganda (43%) and Kenya (6%). In Europe, Lake Victoria became particularly well known in 2005 with the cinema release of the documentary “Darwin’s Nightmare” by Hubert Sauper, which described the alarming situation of the lakeside populations who are increasingly dependent on a resource that is both valuable and predatory: the “Nile perch”, a very popular fish with consumers in developed countries. Nile perch fishing is very lucrative, generating more than USD 100 million in annual income and employing some 700,000 people. But this economic activity is having undesirable environmental effects, including over-exploitation of resources and major imbalances in the biodiversity of the lake and its shores. The Katosi Women’s Fishing Group is an association of women founded at the end of the 1990s to improve the living conditions of the women of Katosi, a small port with a few thousand inhabitants on the banks of Lake Victoria. The women of the association have been fishing for decades on the lake and the fish they catch is mainly intended for export to richer countries. But changes over recent years, concerning both the increasing scarcity of resources and altered market conditions, have forced the women of Katosi to consider diversifying their activities. By becoming involved in the processing of dried fish and making new collective investment in the areas of animal rearing and the craft industries, the women of Katosi are joining forces to end their dependence on fishing.
Margaret Nakato is one of the leaders of the Katosi Women’s Fishing Group, but she is also Vice-President of the World Forum of Fisher People. This is why she and her friends are campaigning in favour of the adoption of the principles of sustainable trade in the fishing sector, especially in Uganda. She explains: “We have to apply pressure in order to be associated with decision-making. If we don’t, all our efforts are in vain. Prices have to go up. The price of fuel and fishing nets is going up but the price of fish for the fishermen and women is still the same. It’s unprofitable and dangerous. The over-exploitation of the lake has already reduced fish stocks. And now, to make more money, the fishermen are using nets that capture even young fish. Stocks are being exhausted. If we don’t act soon, there will soon be no fish left. The fishing communities of the lake must organise themselves into a network, not just to improve their living conditions but also to conserve fish resources. We still don’t have enough money to set up this sort of network but it is essential for the survival of the communities”. As pioneers in these issues, the women of the Katosi Women’s Fishing Group have begun developing collective projects and initiatives to tackle these problems. The group has contacted funding organisations to put loan plans in place to start up new activities and support productive investment. But the group projects do not stop there: “We are considering some large projects for the women of the region, which will also be sources of employment. These projects include the purchase of a boat fitted with a refrigerated hold and the construction of a processing plant at Katosi, so we can prepare the fish for export ourselves instead of selling it raw. (…) This project would give the women of the whole region access to world markets, create employment and satisfy our wish for industrialisation. Today, the fish processing plants in Uganda are mainly owned by overseas investors”23. The women of Katosi are campaigning for fair trade and sustainable fishing on Lake Victoria and, although there are many obstacles, their action is beginning to bear fruit. The Katosi association has been chosen by several international foundations (including the Charles Leopold Mayer foundation and WADAF, the West African Association for the Development of Artisanal Fisheries, to organise exchanges with the coastal communities of Tanzania in order to participate in managing the resources of Lake Victoria. Representatives of these communities are planning to come to Europe to form an alliance with the consumer and social awareness organisations and supermarkets to try and change this situation and, hopefully, introduce sustainable practices into the fishing industry of Lake Victoria.
To find out more: www.altermondes.org www.icsf.net www.fph.ch
TREES FOR GLOBAL BENEFIT Trees for Global Benefit is a Plan Vivo certification project founded in May 2003 with the participation of the rural communities of the District of Bushenyi, in south-west Uganda. Developed in 1994 in the region of Chiapas in Mexico, the Plan Vivo concept was devised as part of an international research programme run by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management and the University of Edinburgh to design a global CO2 emission control system for rural communities. The Trees for Global Benefit project is designed to provide these rural communities with novel resources to benefit from the environment, while encouraging regional reforestation. By encouraging these populations to establish and operate nurseries of mixed species, the project has the clear objective of reducing the CO2 emissions of these communities and the farms that are the source of more than 90% of the countryâ€™s CO2 emissions. The project is clearly designed to be part of an approach bringing benefits to the inhabitants of these communities. As well as being trained in sustainable planting practices, they will receive advice on better commercial exploitation of their produce by exploiting the local biodiversity. Managed by Environment Conservation Trust Uganda (EcoTrust) with the collaboration of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management, the Trees for Global Benefit project receives support from the Rainforest Alliance in the form of third-party evaluation.
To find out more: www.treesftf.org/projects/uganda.htm www.planvivo.com/fx.planvivo/scheme/uganda.aspx
KAMPALA JELLITONE SUPPLIERS The use of wood for fuel contributes to deforestation and many projects throughout the world are intended to find alternative solutions that can be effectively deployed in developing countries. Winner of the Ashden Prize 2009 for renewable energy, Kampala Jellitone Suppliers uses agricultural wastes to make fuel briquettes from dried and compressed sawdust, groundnut shells and coffeegrowing residues. The fuel thus produced replaces wood and charcoal, which are used by a large proportion of the Uganda population.
Practical and relatively easy to produce, the solution developed by Kampala Jellitone Suppliers is finding real success in Uganda. Schools, hospitals and factories throughout the country are buying and using these briquettes, which are produced at a rate of about 130 tonnes a month at a purchase price that is less than that of wood or charcoal (in terms of the energy produced). In addition to the waste recycling factor, the environmental benefits of this activity are significant. In fact, a study carried out by the Engineering Faculty of the University of Makarere has shown that the system set up by Kampala Jellitone Suppliers allows savings of almost 6.1 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of briquettes produced, corresponding to about 9,300 tonnes a year. Supported by several international projects (in particular by the Danish government), the production process for the fuel briquettes designed by Kampala Jellitone Suppliers has the major attraction that it can form part of dissemination and reproduction initiatives in many African countries, particularly where the necessary raw materials are abundant.
To find out more: www.ashdenawards.org/winners/ KJS09
OVERALL CONCLUSION After decades of war and dictatorships, which destroyed a large part of the production system and community equilibrium inherited from the colonial era, Uganda is re-entering the global economy by staking its future on high-growth sectors and activities with a high economic and ecological added value. Since these activities contribute to developing the wealth of the country while raising the level of qualifications of the population and endeavouring to preserve an exceptional natural environment, these initiatives emphasise the commitment of Uganda to fair, sustainable and organic trade and the establishment of regional systems in these different domains. In time, this investment should bear fruit and, hopefully, Uganda will again become the Pearl of Africa.
SOURCES, EXTRACTS and NOTES 1
Source: Atlaseco 2009
Source: African Economic Outlook
Source: Oxfam-Magasins du Monde. To find out more: www.omdm.be/analyses
Source: Cited in CaféDirect PLC Annual Report 2007-2008
Dee Axelrod , “Muslim, Jewish, and Christian coffee farmers make mirembe kawomera—delicious peace”, in Yes Magazine, 8 November 2005 - www.yesmagazine.org/issues/spiritual-uprising/java-justice
FAO, cited in “Le secteur du thé dans les relations commerciales UE-ACP – The tea sector in EU-ACP trade relations”, Agritrade summary note, April 2009.
Interview with Silver Kasoro-Atwoki at Fair trade Foundation - www.fairtrade.org.uk/producers/ tea/mabale_growers_tea_factory/silver_kasoro_atwoki.aspx
Jon Wills, “Ugandan Tea Grower On Fair Trade Mission”, in Tea News Direct, 24 March 2008 www.teanewsdirect.com/2008/03/ugandan-tea-grower-on-fair trade-mission
Wambi Michael (IPS - Inter Press Service - South Africa), “Des femmes manient les outils du commerce équitable pour combattre la pauvreté – Women use the tools of fair trade to combat poverty” - www.infosdelaplanete. org/4621/des-women-manient-les-outils-du-commerce-equitable-pour-combattre-la-pauvrete.html
Interview by Piezo Agency 25 November 2009.
Source: www.beadforlife.fr and Evaluation Report “2008 BeadforLife Evaluation Summary.pdf”
“Connected by a string of beads through the BeadforLife Program” in The Seattle Times, 7 December 2008 Read at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2008470060_trbeadforlife07.html
Camilla Ohlsson and Alex Kasterine, International Trade Centre, “Uganda: The organic farmers winning over Europe”, www.forumducommerce.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/1071
Photo credits Andy Carlton - Twin Ashden Awards BeadforLife Domenico Cafarchia Cafe Direct Cooperative Coffees Dave Clark - SmugMug Ethnic Supplies Fairtrade Wales FindTarget.com Gumutindo Luchetti Damiano Mirembe Kawomera One World Hull Organic Exchange PEPLA - Peer Education Program of Los Angeles Rhett A. Butler / mongabay.com Stefan Gara Thanksgiving Coffee UFL USADF UTZ Certified World of Good Inc
BTC - Belgian development agency TRADE FOR DEVELOPMENT centre rue haute 147 1000 BrusselS T +32 (0)2 505 19 35 www.btcctb.org www.befair.be 54
Published on Mar 14, 2011
In colonial times westerners considered Uganda to be “the Pearl of Africa”. Since 1986 and the political stabilisation of the country by Yow...