The First Minister visited the Gumutindo Fairtrade Coffee Cooperative, which was created to improve coffee quality on Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano on the Ugandan border, and provide better trade conditions for producers in the area.
The cooperative, which has received support from the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa scheme through Fair Trade Wales, has developed significantly since its launch. It now has around 9000 farmer members and has built the reputation of Mount Elgon coffee, shipping it worldwide.
The First Minister also met staff at the Gumutindo Tree Nursery. The cooperative is one of the four tree planting members of the successful Million Trees project.
Run by environmental charity, Size of Wales, and supported by the Welsh Government, the Million Trees project aims to plant one million trees in Mbale - a highly deforested area of Uganda.
The First Minister said:
"Becoming the very first Fair Trade Nation was a huge moment for Wales. We showed the world that we are an outward-looking, compassionate nation which cares about ensuring that producers receive a fair deal.
"Today I’ve seen first hand the impact Welsh projects are having on real people here in Uganda. Our commitment to better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers, is improving living standards for individuals and families and helping to protect the environment."
The First Minister also saw the effects a Welsh organisation which aims to assist people in poor areas of the world to make a livelihood through beekeeping, is having on communities in the area.
Based in Monmouth, Bees for Development is working with farmers already engaged in the Million Trees project in Uganda to generate income through producing and selling honey and beeswax. The project, supported by the Welsh Government, also enhances the Million Trees scheme as the bees pollinate the trees.
The First Minister is in Uganda on a series of visits to see the impact Welsh projects, supported by the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme, are having on the lives of individuals and families living there.