• RWAFAT NEW PROFILE (summary)

    RWAFAT is a network of Fair Trade Organizations, whose purpose is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged Rwandans by linking and strengthening organizations practicing fair trade, as well as strengthening Rwanda’s position in the regional and international market.

    OUR VISION

    To be the global reference for country networks in Africa promoting fair Trade Principle

    OUR MISSION

    We are a country network promoting fair trade principles for Rwandan producer groups in order to continually improve their livelihoods through awareness creation and market access.

    OUR CORE VALUES

    v  Practice of Trade Principles

    v  Integrity

    v  Respect

    v  Commitment to client and member ultimate satisfaction

    v  Team Work

    v  Mutual Social Support

    v  Accountability and Transparency

    v   Justice

    v  Honesty

    v  Care for the less fortunate in the society

    v   Innovation and Creativity

    v  Quality of Service

    OUR OBJECTIVES

    ·        To promote fair trade and its principles in Rwanda among producer cooperatives and other stakeholders, these principles include gender, education, and environment protection.

    ·        To provide support to fair trade producers in Rwanda in the form of capacity building, fight against HIV/AIDS, and market access support.

    ·        To cooperate in marketing fair trade products in local, regional and international market with the aim of increasing the market share of Rwandan fair traded products.

    ·        To encourage the practice of fair trading by organization towards the common goal of raising economic self reliance as a strategy of wealth creation  and poverty alleviation.

    ·        To establish, among cooperatives, common codes of practice to protect not only Rwandan fair traded products but also promoting Rwanda Culture.

    ·        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 social economic and political environment that may impact on Rwandan fair traded products and to disseminate relevant information to member organizations.

    ·        To lobby the government and other authorities in order to develop a conductive policy environment that encourages the development Rwandan fair traded products.

    ·        To encourage cooperation in areas such as training, production, product development and marketing.

    ·        To cooperate with development organizations in promoting fair trade locally, regionally and internationally.

    OUR MEMBERSHIP

     Today, RWAFAT has 11 members only four years after its formation, with several others waiting for acceptance –

             50 are cooperatives and small holder producer associations producing and trading from their rural and urban locations.

    THE PRODUCTS INCLUDE

    Mainly handicrafts (wood, metal, sisal and banana fibres, textiles and apparels, processed foods) and some are in herbal and personal care products

      

    DEVELOPMENT

    Together with our members and other networks (e.g.COFTA), we identify local needs and set our development goals at the national level
    these goals then meet :

                1. the goals and ambitions of our fair   trade producer and trading members. 

                2. the development goals of our non trading members.

                3. and satisfying the demands of the local and international consumers alike.    

    DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE

             We support our members to access current market information and dissemination services through regular research and shared information.

             We design capacity building activities with our members for fair trade.

             We partner with regional and international networks to stregthen both ourselves (institutional strengthening) and our members.

             We encaurage senior members to mentor and provide assistance to the younger ones.      

    WE TAKE THE LEAD IN

    Local Fair Trade Advocacy and Lobby.

    WFT Days awareness and mobilization.

     

    RWAFAT is

             Registered as a non-profit organisation.

             Established in the year 2007.

             Forum for dialogue and sustainable trade partnerships development.

             Supported by Big Lottery UK for a 3 years project.

             Now has one full time program coordinator, six board members.

             Support of BTC  (2012).

     

    THEMATIC AREAS

    v Market access.

    v Capacity building (RWAFAT and members).

    v Awareness creation and advocacy.

    v Membership expansion.

    v Promotion of health, education, leadership, decentralization and the resolution of conflicts in the RWAFAT member co-operatives.

    v Promotion of Rwandan culture by the production and preservation of Rwanda art and crafts since the pre-colonial period.

             Environment protection and climate change are our concern.

    CHALLENGES FACING FAIR TRADE PRODUCERS IN RWANDA

             Our producers lack capacity to make sustainable entry into markets.

             Our members are very small and low in financial resources.

             Because of the above, we can not effectively rely on membership subscriptions to run the secretariat.

             Our producers operate in remote and sometimes inaccessible locations with poor infrastructure hence high costs of production.

             Producers lack skills to translate trends and designs into products.

             Our members have seen sustained reduction in their business volumes over the last 2 years – some have opted out.

             Volume buyers don’t take on new producers easily.

             Lack of working capital to facilitate order fulfillment is common.

             Our members are faced with weak organizational capacities.

    ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE

             We have the strongest National Network in Africa as well as other regions.

             We have successfully used commitment, trust and continuous dialogue to keep the network together.

             We have benefited from technical assistance from some of the donors to build RWAFAT.

             We have a secretariat housed in Kigali.

             We have grown our membership.

     

    RWAFAT

    Team.



    ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION

    Given that our producers use the natural resources to prepare their products, it is important to play a crucial role in environment conservation.

    RWAFAT has trained producers on climate change and desertification in Rwanda, in one day each quarter, we shared ideas on how we can as cooperatives eradicate the desertification phenomenon in our home area by enhancement of environment conservation. The cooperatives have also been trained on:

    -Making nursery (forestry) as strategy of prevention the desertification.

    -RIO DE JENERIO conference on Climate change and desertification.

    -KIOTO conference on Climate Change and desertification.