The aim of the EQUITE Program is to help PO networks’ structuration, by getting involved on fair trade markets : the West African POs that get involved on fair trade markets struggle to ensure their certification, (evolving standards, cost of the certification,…) and struggle to enter fair trade markets. These organizations expressed their need for support in building their capacity to deal with these challenges.
Therefore, the challenge of supporting the development of fair trade in West Africa is relevant in several ways :
the impacts of fair trade show that it can be a sustainable development tool, in a region that does not benefit much from this approach,
POs’ that have been certified for more than a decade are still facing challenges on institutional and financial sustainability, and on strengthening their commercial opportunities,
New developments in fair trade are accompanied by the need for support and reference building for newly certified structures,
There is a challenge for protecting biodiversity in West Africa, both in the forested areas where there still remain humid forest, constituting a fauna and flora reserve, and in the sudano-sahelian area.