Fairtrade NAPP is an organization that has been committed to the power of organizational collaborations to advocate teaming up with stakeholders in Sri Lanka for more impactful outcomes. In adherence to the discussion held in April, Fairtrade has undertaken the commitment to engage in meetings with its key stakeholders in Sri Lanka. The session, namely, ‘Advocacy team up with Fairtrade Stakeholders’ transpired on September 15, 2023, at the Centre of Excellence for Water and Sanitation (CEWAS), located at 10, Egodahena Road, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka.

The primary objective of this meeting was to create awareness about the existing situation and the impact of Fairtrade in Sri Lanka among stakeholders interested in collaborating and supporting the established collaboration between Sri Lanka and International Fairtrade Networks. Fairtrade NAPP extended invitations to these stakeholders in response to their request for insight into the current status of Fairtrade in Sri Lanka and its broader impact in the Global and Asia Pacific regional context. The event witnessed the participation of a total of 125 stakeholders, including 45 women.

“This event was a great success with many stakeholders from government and I thank the EDB chair for being our chief guest today.” – R. Gnanasekaran, Stassen Natural Foods (Pvt.) Ltd.

The day started with a key note speech delivered by the Chair and the CEO of the Sri Lankan Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, Dr Kingsley Bernard. This was followed by the fairtrade NAPP team who presented the current status of fairtrade and Fairtrade Projects in Sri Lanka. They also presented the future projects of fairtrade in Sri Lanka, various project updates supported by the National Fairtrade Organizations and partners, Traders, and Producers’ experiences while addressing the key aspects focusing on global advocacy work with a participatory approach from the producer network. The Fairtrade climate study expert team contributed to the meeting by presenting several important issues including climate change impacts, adaptation practices, and potential participation in the carbon market by smallholder Fairtrade farmers. The Sri Lanka Export Development Bank team also presented the current updates on the FoC regarding the support of Sri Lankan Government in the movement of Fairtrade. This was followed by a panel discussion with questions and answers facilitated by the fairtrade team. The meeting concluded with the closing remark by the chair of the event, Chairman of Fairtrade Network of Producers (FNSL), Mr. R Gnanasekaran.

“As the newly appointed secretary of the National Network of Fairtrade producers in SL FNSL, I am very much happy and looking forward to working with this FoC with the government stakeholders” – Janaka Kulathunga, Seemasahi tha Countrywide Wagakaruwange Samithiya.

The meeting provided a valuable platform for stakeholders to come together and discuss the current state of Fairtrade in Sri Lanka, as well as its potential for growth and development in the future. This depicts the commitment of Fairtrade to foster better collaboration for a mutually beneficial future. Collaborations between organizations foster synergies, pooling diverse expertise, and resources to tackle complex challenges with greater efficiency. This interconnected approach promotes seamless coordination, minimizing redundancies and maximizing the impact of collective efforts. By sharing knowledge and working collaboratively, organizations can adapt more swiftly to dynamic environments, achieving outcomes that surpass individual capabilities.

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