14 september 2007
Albert Heijn improves living conditions for African growers
The three partners will devote their efforts to ensuring that fruit and vegetable production for Albert Heijn in Africa meets internationally accepted basic standards. Wherever possible, small-scale producers will be supported, so that their fruit and vegetables may be sold to Albert Heijn's African suppliers and supply chains. ICCO and FairMatch Support are supervising the projects and development efforts in Africa, and offering advice on how small-scale producers could supply their crops to Albert Heijn. ICCO also manages the financial resources of the Albert Heijn Foundation and advises on projects.
ICCO has acquired considerable experience in linking companies to development initiatives. "In the past three years, we have determined together with Albert Heijn that importing fair trade certified mangoes from Burkina Faso can be successful", says Jack van Ham, general director of ICCO. The new partnership "will make a more significant and structural contribution to building a better life for farmers and workers in Africa." FairMatch Support - an intermediate mainly financed by ICCO - encourages European companies to adopt more sustainable trade practices. It brings these companies into contact with producers and small enterprises from developing countries and vice versa.
A fair trade model, in which growers get higher (fair) prices, is no option, says Els van Dijk of Albert Heijn. "We work with suppliers, not with the growers themselves. We do not want the suppliers to determine which projects are supported. Therefore the foundation is inviting local communities to file applications, which will be supervised by ICCO and FairMatch."
P+ webtip: FairMatch Support