Nested at the coastal region, Jaffna has always been deeply ingrained with significant historical importance in Sri Lanka. Yet, amidst recent tumultuous time, Jaffna’s trajectory has been challenged. Despite being at crossroads of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the undying sprit of residents has endured to withstand the economic challenges. As Jaffna emerges from the shadows of its past, today, it welcomes visitors to rediscover its rich heritage and the promise of its future. Fairtrade NAPP is currently seeking avenues for expansion into fisheries sector with a focus on enhancing the socio-economic well-being of those employed within the sector.

Trade fairs greatly affect global commerce by providing crucial platforms for businesses to display products, build partnerships, and expand market reach. Given the geographical location, Fairtrade NAPP team has attended 2 trade fairs to expand their reach for Fairtrade fishery communities and provide them the opportunities to expand their market. They attended FeTNA’s FiTEN Yarl 2024 and The Jaffna International Trade Fair 2024, in Jaffna. In addition, they also are in conversation with University of Jaffna for business opportunities.

The FiTEN Yarl 2024 by FeTNA was an extraordinary platform that brought together academics, MSMEs driven by innovation, aspiring entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts to explore the boundless possibilities. Held at University of Jaffna, this offered a unique opportunity for Fairtrade NAPP team to immerse themselves in a world of innovation, gain market access, and cultivate meaningful connections through networking with various stakeholders. It provided the Fairtrade NAPP team with guidance on acquiring potential leads in the region.

The Jaffna International Trade Fair provides an ideal platform to explore the potential markets. This event offers opportunities to establish new partnerships, discover business opportunities, and interact with both private and public sectors in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. Having the theme ‘Gateway to the North’, this trade fair provided an opportunity for the team to decipher the market and access them to bring positive changes in the lives of Northern Sri Lanka, especially the fishing community involved with Fairtrade NAPP.

Through initiatives like University Business Linkages (UBL) of University of Jaffna, Fairtrade NAPP is laying the groundwork for future partnerships. The University Business Linkages have been an integral initiation by University of Jaffna that aims to foster strong connection and provide support to the local business for development in the region. Discussions with UBL’s Director and Managers have sparked exciting possibilities for collaboration, including the organization of Fairtrade-oriented meetings. Fairtrade has now been exploring the prospect of engaging the fisheries sector of the Northern Province as their pilot project in this northern region. A round of discussion has been undertaken with University Business Linkages for this pilot project. By exchanging business cards and initiating talks for future endeavours, Fairtrade NAPP is paving the way for impactful collaborations that will benefit both producers and consumers alike.

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