27th February – 12th March
Fairtrade Fortnight is fast approaching and this year the theme is ‘Add a Little Fair Trade to your Break’
You can interpret a ‘break’ as anything you like – whether it’s a traditional coffee morning, or a kickabout with a fairtrade football – you’ll be putting fair trade on the agenda for your day.
We will be hosting a fair trade break in the shop on Wednesday 8th March, 11am-12pm
We’d love you to join us! As this coincides with International Women’s Day, we will also have a display of products made by women. Please come along and enjoy some free refreshments. This event is part of Fair Trade Cardiff’s 13 hours of fairtrade breaks on this day – you can find out more about this here.
We will also be hosting Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of NASFAM (National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi) in the shop on Tuesday 7th March at 10.30am. NASFAM supply some of the nuts and rice that we sell in the shop. Dyborn will meet customers and be able to answer any questions you might have. Our producer visits are always eye-opening and informative, and help us to see the real impact we are having by buying fair trade here in the UK, so please do join us if you can!
Here is some more information about Dyborn and the work of NASFAM:
Dyborn has visited Wales in 2010 as part of the Abergavenny Food Festival’s Big Debate, as he was a TWIN board member, and in 2012 as part of Liberation Nuts’ Fairtrade Fortnight tour.
Dyborn Chibonga manages the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) as Chief Executive Officer. NASFAM supply Fair Trade rice and groundnuts to Europe.
He has served in this role since June 1999, managing the membership association of over 100,000 farmer members and a staff of about 390 in 19 locations across the country. In his experience with NASFAM, Mr. Chibonga has led a dynamic team in taking the project from an initiative to becoming a model rural producer organization in Southern Africa. Mr. Chibonga is a member of the Trade Policy National Working Group (TPNWG) and part of the Malawi Government agriculture cluster for World Trade Organization (WTO) and EU-ACP EPAs negotiations. His general experience includes various board roles with both for-profit and non-profit organizations, task forces and committees dedicated to improving the lives of the underprivileged through their active participation. Prior to NASFAM, he served in a marketing and manager capacity with Agricultural Trading Company from 1994 to 1999. Mr. Chibonga will bring his experience to enable smallholders effectively and collectively produce these non-traditional crops for the demanding and sophisticated market.
Nasfam has a facebook page which is occasionally updated: https://www.facebook.com/nasfammw
In the 1970s and 80s Malawi was advised to start growing tobacco as cash-crops. A lot of farmers switched to this new single crop, in particularly men, but in the 1990’s when countries like the US and China flooded the market with tobacco, the price of tobacco for Malawian farmers dropped, making their livelihoods unsustainable. Luckily, the women farmers had continued to grow and harvest groundnuts, which allowed for the men to have an industry to come back to.
Any surplus groundnuts, not sold on the global market can be sold locally. One interesting way of benefiting the local social needs is an emergency health intervention, Plumpy’Nut. A peanut-based paste in an individual wrapper for treatment of severe acute malnutrition. Removing the need for hospitalization, the 92-gram packets of this paste can be administered at home and allow larger numbers to be treated. In a country where up to 60% of under 5 years olds suffer “stunting”, a growth disorder caused by malnutrition, and up to three months of the year, farmers don’t even get one meal a day, this intervention supported by the Fairtrade premium, can be life-saving.
Do let us know what you are doing during fairtrade fortnight – and we can help you to advertise it. Tag us on Twitter or Facebook!