The Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Africa have announced that they will collaborate on an initiative aimed at empowering female coffee farmers in Kenya.
The three-year project, called ‘Growing women in coffee’, will look to address the low levels of land and coffee bush ownership amongst female Kenyan farmers by developing an asset-transfer programme, similar to previously successful schemes. Key assets in the production of coffee in Kenya, the Fairtrade Foundation says, are usually held by men.
The Fairtrade Foundation will work closely with the coffee union that represents the farmers to develop and market a brand of coffee within Kenya labelled Women’s Coffee.
The foundation will also provide ‘green energy’ biogas units and instruction on good agricultural practices to three hundred women who have already benefitted from an asset-transfer programme near Kericho, Western Kenya.
The project has been enabled by a grant of more than £389,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, which distributes National Lottery revenue to community projects and good causes, as well as further funding from the government of Guernsey’s overseas aid commission.
David Finlay, the Fairtrade Foundation’s fundraising manager, said: “We are looking forward to working with Fairtrade Africa on this project, which will directly empower hundreds of women farmers and has the potential to benefit thousands more. By working with the women in these co-operatives to roast, grind, package and sell their beans as ‘women’s coffee’, we hope they will be able to increase the amount they sell on Fairtrade terms, which will bring benefits for their whole community”.
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