Stronger together for fair trade
Katikamu Poultry Co-operative
A bigger player on the market
In central Uganda, the rural district of Luwero is blessed with fertile grounds. They have ensured that the agricultural or ‘agro’ industry is the most proficient economic activity in the region. However, the many small farmers active in the region rarely have the scale or the capacity to enter into fair-trade contracts. As such, they are often helpless victims of negotiation processes for both the purchase of raw materials and the sale of their own products and harvests.
Approximately thirty chicken farmers have joined forces. The Katikamu Poultry Co-operative is the result. This organisation consists of both, farmers who breed poultry to sell meat, as well as those who concentrate on egg production. The farmers act as one group, with their sales and purchases centralised. Together, they have become a major player on the market. And that has given them a stronger position at the negotiations table. The cooperative has used this, first of all, to ensure fair trade. As well as the scale benefits, the cooperative has invested strongly in the sharing of knowledge between members. An extra benefit strength of the Katikamu Poultry Co-operative is the diversity of its entrepreneurial members. There is a balanced share of males and females, young and old, that always welcome new members.
Support, expansion and sharing of knowledge
The founding of a co-operative is no easy task. Strong, basic structures that allow the voice of every member to be heard need to form the cornerstone of such an organisation. The principle of ‘one member = one voice’ forms the basis of every healthy co-operative. It led Exchange, together with the Katikamu Poultry farm, to decide on a growth programme that would focus on the sustainable expansion and support of the cooperation.
As well as providing their technical expertise in areas such as chicken feeding, the purchase of raw materials, quality and hygiene, Exchange joined them in looking for ways to structurally support the cooperative. With the right expertise and sharing of knowledge, the enterprise has grown sustainably into a strong co-operative that provides fair trade and income stability for the local farmers.