Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This February we love the feeling we get when we spoil that special someone with Fairtrade certified flowers, chocolate, wine and gold. The feeling of knowing that your gift means as much to the farmers and workers behind it as it does to the person receiving it. Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark to be assured that your Valentine’s treats meet our rigorous international standards.
Agnes Muthere is one of 450 workers at Waridi Limited flower farm, situated near Athi River close to Nairobi, Kenya. Waridi Ltd flower farm has been in business since 1989 and is Fairtrade certified since 2006. © Nathalie Bertrams
Agnese is 39 years old and married with 4 children. She has benefitted from the Fairtrade premium by their health program – vaccines and mosquito netting – as well as home improvement. She hopes to get more benefits and one day open a shop. She asks buyers of Fairtrade flowers “to uplift us more.”
Waridi’s Premium Committee is called Waridi Joint Self Help Group - it consists of 12 workers and 2 representatives of the management. In addition to improved working conditions and higher wages, individual benefits for the workers include interest free loans under the home improvement scheme, skills training, and secondary education grants. The community has benefitted from proactive health projects such as vaccinations; the construction of classrooms in schools; two water weirs for irrigation purposes; a foot bridge over Athi River for the rainy season and a borehole at Ngelani School for clean water in the community.