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Uganda: Fairtrade Africa improving lives of flower farm workers

Ann Mbuthia, Administration Manager at Aurum Roses Limited, a flower farm company in Entebbe, Wakiso district, has encouraged employers in the country not to shy away from equipping workers with multiple hands-on skills, fearing that they will resign and venture into other businesses.

She says that workers workers will always have choices to make in and outside their known workplaces. Some choose to stay, while others continue to seek greener pastures. Mbuthia adds that this should not be reason enough to deny them opportunities.

"Many of the workers at the flower farm are semi-skilled, and as a company, we also seek to better their skills by providing avenues for them to boost their CVs as well as their income," she says

In an exclusive interview with Capital Radio, Mbuthia further explains that at Aurum Roses, through the Fairtrade Africa initiative, Workers have been furnished with vocational skills and graduated in different courses, including tailoring, computer science, and baking, among others. This skilling project is aimed at improving their livelihoods but also makes them more helpful in the different communities where they reside.

Fairtrade Africa is part of a global body that seeks to combat social injustices of conventional trade by supporting small-scale farm owners and their workers to secure better terms of trade.

She says since Aurum Roses joined Fairtrade Africa five years back, the lives of her 208 workers at the farm have greatly improved. The initiative enhances workers' livelihoods and is strictly monitored by inspectors. The inspectors look out for acceptable chemicals used on the farm, workers are wearing their protective gear, tax payments, salary and bonus payments for the workers, and general work conditions at the flower farms. Any non-compliance observed can attract withdrawal of their certificate.


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