We’re building our innovative Co-operative International Trading Development Fund by putting aside a proportion from sales every time you spend on Co-op Fairtrade products. We have supported Fairtrade for well over 25 years and our commitment remains as strong as ever.
But now when you buy Co-op Fairtrade products, the benefits go even further – into strengthening worldwide co-operatives and their development! In addition, we’re contributing a proportion from the sales of a new range of products available in all of our stores.
The first focus for our fund is Malawi, in south-eastern Africa.
We’ve chosen Malawi as it’s one the world’s poorest countries. Most growers there are small holders dependent on subsistence farming to make a living and produce crops which are vulnerable to changing weather patterns, especially drought.
A programme of support on the ground is being developed with the help of Co-op College and the Malawi Federation of Co-operatives (MAFECO) to help transform their trading capacity. All Our Malawi Partnership products currently available in store have a connection to Malawi.
The Co-operative College is an educational charity with big plans to make the world a more co-operative place. Born over 100 years ago, their aim is to tackle ongoing inequality and social injustice through co-operative learning, both in the UK and abroad.
As part of Our Malawi Partnership, the College will work on the ground, using their distinctive learning approach to help create mutually beneficial co-operative networks in Malawi and globally. These networks will facilitate the sharing of co-operative values and practical knowledge between farmers and across co-operatives, helping to improve the livelihoods of small-holder farmers and their communities.
Co-operative College also supported the creation of Malawi’s first national apex body for co-operatives, the Malawi Federation of Co-operatives. MAFECO provides growth, training and support opportunities for future generations of co-operative producers and farmers.
We’re inviting as many UK co-operative societies as possible to join us in support of this exciting initiative.
This could be by generating funds through relevant trading opportunities of your own or simply helping us to spread the word. Whichever way you choose to co-operate, we’ll be able to achieve greater good together.
If you’re a Co-operative and interested in getting involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
Let’s co-operate to help move global communities out of poverty.