Everything’s coming up roses

Conservator Chebet Ian Finlayson

Do you ever wonder if paying extra for a Fair Trade product is worth it? Read on to find out how Fairtrade has helped the lives of 2 ladies in Kenya.

Meet Conservator Chebet and Rose Korir, two friends who work at Ravine Roses, a flower farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Ravine Roses is one of the few employers in the area and is a popular place to work, especially since it became Fairtrade accredited in 2009.

Conservator has worked as a grader in the flower packing house since 2004 and as a single mum struggled to support her family. When Ravine Roses became Fairtrade accredited working conditions and wages improved. Conservator explains; ‘I was able to plan my resources and I have managed to purchase a piece of land where I have built my home and now carry out subsistence farming.’

Fairtrade has also helped Conservator’s family. ‘I was not in a position to educate my children. Fairtrade has made it manageable. My daughter has received school fees assistance for every alternate year in high school and she has now completed her studies successfully.’

Rose has worked in the packing house since 2003 ‘I have seen a significant improvement in the working conditions in the farm since we became Fairtrade accredited, through training of workers, improved medical services and transport’. Rose has also been able to save and buy herself a bicycle.

Rose is baffled by the generosity of the Fairtrade consumers in reaching out to help improve her life.

Ian Finlayson, CEO of Practical Solutions International, provides guidance and support to companies who wish to link up with Fairtrade offers another viewpoint. ‘I have seen Fairtrade money spent on training skills such as tailoring, driving and IT lessons. Things that build skills in people and improve the economy around the local area.’

Ian is keen that we continue to buy Fairtrade products, ‘look out for the fair trade logo as then you know some money is going back. The benefit of fair trade is that you know it has been shared evenly.’

Last modified on Friday, 21 February 2014 13:31