Trade Connections is a project which aims to meet key Scottish Buyers from large chains or independent stores to discuss business opportunities with a view to placing firm orders with producers from Malawi. Malawi has numerous products that appeal to both the UK mainstream and Fairtrade markets; buyers from a variety of industries across Scotland are asked to consider these products based on quality and price - not for 'aid' reasons.
The project has been undertaken by Imani Development Malawi and Scotland, at the request of the Malawi Trade Policy National Working Group (TPNWG) and has the backing of trade and policy departments and ministers within the Scottish and Malawi Governments, with support from commercial businesses and potential corporate investors.
The project engages policy makers, industry bodies, private sector companies and producer organisations. At the trade policy level it will build local knowledge and capacity in the understanding and dissemination of information regarding trade. At the private sector level it will generate valuable export sales to Scotland, with all of the economic development associated. The promotion of Fairtrade in both Scotland and Malawi will be a key component with its added development impact.
Imani is working with around 20 Malawian producers, as a pilot project, all of whom are able to develop sustainable trade with organisations in Scotland who will sell Malawian products. The Malawian organisations range from primary producer groups with smallholder members, with employees dependent on them for their livelihoods, large private sector companies, as well as influential intermediary organisations.