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Country Network Profile: The Kenya Federation for Alternative Trade
01 November 2012

History
The Kenya Federation for Alternative Trade (KEFAT) is a network of Fair Trade producers in Kenya. It was established in the year 2003 when members realized that there is a bigger benefit in working as a national network with a forum for discussing mutual concerns.

nov_kefat_producer2.jpg 
 KEFAT member producers pose after a training program.                            Photo: KEFAT 

Key players
KEFAT is run by a board comprising two women and five men. The board members are elected during Annual General Meeting of members. The board is supported by an secretariat led by a Country Network Coordinator Edwin Kipkoech Bett, a business consultant and Fair Trade certification expert.

KEFAT is composed of producer organizations, which includes small private businesses, alternative marketing organizations, Fair Trade facilitators and other NGOs that adhere to the Fair Trade principles and the Code of Practice of the WFTO. Notable members include:

  • Tarazo Afrikana
  • Undugu Fair Trade Ltd
  • Afrikiko
  • Machakos Cooperative Union
  • Kisac Fair Trade Ltd
  • Evolve Media Ltd
  • Trinity Jewellery Crafts
  • Safaribead Ltd
  • Eculine Kenya Ltd
  • Odiero Initiative Based Organization
  • Smolart self help group
  • Uniqueco designs
  • Bemos Craft Developers
  • Wazawazi
  • Crafts Caravan
  • Got Matar Community Development
  • KICK trading
  • Basecamp Explorer
  • Peperuka Ltd
  • Bawa La Tumaini

Achievements

  • Social forums, business linkages and product development workshops.
  • Capacity building activities, trade fairs, members’ forums, and participation in regional and global Fair Trade activities.
  • Hosting the WFTO 2011 Global conference.

Aims  and objectives

  • nov_kefat_producer3.jpg 
                                                Photo: KEFAT
    To provide a forum for member organizations, so they can constructively collaborate and contribute to the development of Fair Trade in Kenya,
  • To cooperate in marketing fairly traded products in local, regional and international markets with the aim of increasing the market share of Kenyan Fair Trade products,
  • To encourage the practice of fair trading by organizations to achieve the common goal of raising economic self-reliance as a strategy of wealth creation and poverty alleviation,
  • To strengthen the membership of KEFAT by recruiting additional members and supporting their applications to join the WFTO,
  • To establish common code of practice to protect Kenyan Fair Trade businesses from possible unfair practices of buyers and suppliers,
  • To compile and make available information on potential trading partners, export procedures to various countries, market trends and other relevant information,
  • To monitor the local, regional and global socio-economic and political environment which may impact on Kenyan fairly traded products and to disseminate relevant information to member organizations,
  • To lobby the government and other authorities in order to develop an enabling policy environment that encourages the development of Fair Trade in Kenya,
  • To encourage cooperation in areas such as training, production, product development and marketing,
  • To co-operate with development organizations in promoting Fair Trade locally, regionally and internationally, and
  • To arbitrate between members and other stakeholders.

Current programs

KCDF-Kibera Fund program
The KCDF-Kibera Fund is a support grant from the Kenya Community Development Foundation targeting several interventions in the slums of Nairobi and most so Kibera. In collaboration with KEFAT, it is working currently with two KEFAT members Bega Kwa Bega and Bemos Craft Developers in skills development and improvement and market access activities. The program successfully managed to link two clients to the groups and strengthened the operations of the producer groups.

By the end of the program, several result areas are anticipated and include;

  • To increase employment and income generating opportunities for the marginalized youth and women,
  • To improve the business, organizational, leadership and governance capacities of the local producer groups for better and sustainable service delivery,    
  • To create greater linkages with the market and other service providers for sustainable community development, and
  • To improve the capacity of KEFAT secretariat to b able to adequately address the needs of members.

WIEGO program
The WIEGO program aims at developing leadership and business skills for informal women workers in Fair Trade.

By the end of the program, several result areas are anticipated and include;

  • Strengthen women’s leadership to articulate needs and concerns to policy makers,
  • Strengthen MBOs of working poor,
  • Achieve positive policy change to improve lives of women informal workers,
  • Improve the quality of information available to informal workers & policy makers & share best practice,
  • Develop the ability of informal workers’ organizations to provide training & skills development, and
  • Increase women’s participation in their organizations & build their capacity to assume leadership roles.

Learn more about KEFAT, visit website http://kefat.org/.

By Edwin Kipkoech Bett
KEFAT Coordinator

 
 
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