Meet Kady Waylie, the Fairtrade cotton farmer pictured on the front cover of our new 2012-13 Annual Report: Unlocking the Power.
Kady is one of West Africa’s 10 million cotton farmers. She and her family grow their own food, but their cash comes from growing cotton.
The farmers’ group in Kady’s village in Senegal began to see benefits of Fairtrade with training courses they were given, to produce better quality cotton, to get higher yields, to improve health and safety.
When it came to harvest time, they are paid a guaranteed price for their produce, above the market price. And the farmers’ group is also paid the Fairtrade Premium – that the group decides what to do with, men and women together.
The Premium has been used in Senegal to help build and furnish schools, and to buy packs of stationery, books and schoolbags for students. Some has gone on projects for clean drinking water. Some has been spent helping build and equip clinics, and to train villagers in health care and midwifery.
The processes involved have made groups of cotton farmers stronger and more able to look after their own interests, to deal with government officials, to engage with other groups. In short, to unlock the power that they hold when they work together to drive change.
But it’s not all good news. Kady’s cooperative, and many others, are desperate to sell more of their cotton on Fairtrade terms. Their Fairtrade sales have been low for the past couple of years. As part of our 2013-15 strategy, Unlocking the Power of the Many, we’re developing new ways of working in cotton, and also in cocoa and sugar, to drive the sales that producers are looking for.
Read more about our achievements over the past year and our first steps to unlock the power of the many in our new 2012-13 Annual Report.
© Photo and text used with kind permission of Sean Hawkey