Kibagenge - Fairtrade Tea Co-operative
The Kibagenge Co-operative in Kenya is a good example of how well the co-operative business model and Fairtrade products go together.
...is the Chairman of Finlay’s Outgrowers Group, the umbrella organisation that manages the five co-operatives that make up the Kibagenge Project. Now retired, he is also Chairman of Kokchaik Co-operative Society, Member of Peace Committee in his home county of Kericho in Kenya, and a visiting justice in Kericho prisons.
To widen support and introduce more smallholders into our supply chain, The Co-operative is working with our tea suppliers Finlays, The Co-operative College and development organisation Africa Now! to bring together over 11,000 individual smallholders into five new co-operatives, bring them into Fairtrade certification, help them diversify into other products, and gain better access to market, for example through supplying to our 99 Tea. The project has been christened "Kibagenge" which, in the farmers' local language, means "coming together as one".
The first step was for the farmers to organise themselves into five producer co-operatives with an overarching single federation. This enables farmers to use their collective power to seek better market prices for their goods. They will also have access to loans which they can use to pay for children's education and to grow their businesses.
In Fairtrade Fortnight 2012. (27 Feb to 11 Mar) one of the producers from the Kibagenge project will visit the UK.
Please visit our tour page to find out if they are coming to an event near you.follow our tour