Cecilia Appianim: Fair Trade in Ghana
A Voice from Africa: A Fair Trade Producer. Monday, October 11. 4:45-5:45 pm, Reeve 221
What is it like to be a Fair Trade producer and work with a Fair Trade cooperative? Come hear Cecilia Appianim, a member of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana, Africa. She will talk about what it is like to work in this unique cooperative that produces chocolate for Divine Chocolate. The event will take place on Monday October 11, 4:45-5:45 in Reeve 221.
> For more information, contact David Barnhill, email@example.com
Cecilia in her own words:
I used to be a fire fighter and was trained on how to put bush fires out. In the dry season, we have a lot of bush-fires in Ghana so we also educate people on how to prevent them.
Asentem is a small village in the Central Region of Ghana. Most of the people in my village are farmers and therefore there are a lot of farms. Most of us depend on cocoa for money since the other crops we grow like cassava and plantain are for food.
I have three kids. One female, two male. My village is Asemtem in the Central Region.
Fairtrade has helped us a lot. Because of Fairtrade, women can come out boldly and take part in every event. Before it was not like that. Before we would stay at home and watch the men. And we would work with our husbands and they would take the money, put it in their pockets, and when it came time to buy food or pay school fees they would say the money is gone.
But Kuapa, as a Fair Trade farmers cooperative, has opened our eyes to see that everything should be 50-50. So if a man has one vote a woman has one as well. If the men come together to make a decision then the women are there to take part as well. So now we are empowered and the men they can not cheat us again.
Kuapa Kokoo has many projects for women. We make soap, tshirts, batik, we grow other food stuffs and sell in the market and then put some money into the credit union for hardship times or to pay our children's school fees.
About Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Cooperative
Kuapa Kokoo is a unique and pioneering farmers cooperative of more than 45,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana. It was the first cocoa cooperative to join the Fair Trade register in 1995.
Kuapa Kokoo is unique among Fair Trade farmers organizations. It substantially owns a global chocolate brand, Divine Chocolate. In addition to the Fair Trade premiums Kuapa Kokoo farmers receive from the sale of their cocoa, the farmers also have seats on the board of directors of Divine, a say in its operations, a share in the profits, and a place in their own right at the table of the chocolate industry.
Kuapa Kokoo’s mission is to effect:
* increased power and representation within the market for the farmers
* social, economic and political empowerment
* enhanced women's participation in all its affairs
* environmentally sustainable production processes.