More than two-thirds of all Fairtrade farmers and workers live in Africa and the Middle East – the majority of them in the coffee, tea, flowers and cocoa sectors. This brings hope, nourishes dreams and enables positive change in the lives of Fairtrade producers in Africa. This is the case of Esther Ngina, a worker at a Fairtrade certified flower farm in Kenya, who was able to transform her life thanks to the training and education opportunities she received at the plantation. She now represents a source of inspiration for many women in Africa.
By the end of 2015 there were 375 Fairtrade-certified producer organizations in 32 countries throughout the region. Of these, 268 were small producer organizations, and 107 were hired labour organizations. There was a slight decrease in the number of certified small producer organizations compared to 2014. The outstanding increase in the number of small producer organizations in East Africa was not followed by the corresponding increase in Fairtrade sales in the region which leaded the number of producer organizations to its previous level.
The number of farmers and workers remained stable in comparison with last year. By the end of 2014 there were more than one million Fairtrade farmers and hired workers in Africa and the Middle East.
The region represents 64 percent of all farmers and workers in Fairtrade. However, many of these farmers are members of larger producer organizations which are not yet selling a high proportion of their certified crops as Fairtrade.
The amount of Fairtrade Premium earned by producers in Africa and the Middle East totalled an estimated €27 million in 2014-15. This accounted for 23 percent of the Fairtrade Premium paid out globally.
Thirty-eight percent of reported Fairtrade Premium revenue in Africa and the Middle East was earned by producers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. This reflects the continued importance of West African cocoa in Fairtrade, but also the growing sales of Fairtrade bananas from Ghana.
Forty-three percent of all Fairtrade plantation workers are based in Africa and the Middle East.
Seventy-nine percent of Fairtrade hired labourers here work on tea plantations and flower farms.
African plantations receive 45 percent of all Fairtrade Premium revenues earned by plantations globally.
In 2015, 363 producer organizations benefitted from training on topics ranging from good agricultural practices, market access, governance, climate change and Fairtrade awareness among other issues.
The Fairtrade Africa (FTA) producer network facilitated participation by producer organizations in 29 events at national, regional and international level. This year also saw FTA mark its 10th anniversary with a variety of activities throughout the region.