Ufadhili Trust: Pushing sustainable business practice model
A not-for-profit organisation and a partner in the Women@Work Campaign Ufadhili Trust is a focused on promoting social responsibility and sustainability practices among companies, governments and citizens in Eastern and Southern Africa regions.
Within the Women@Work Campaign, Ufadhili Trust is spearheading a dialogue strategy through sustainable business practice mechanism.
The sustainability project is being implemented in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the eight countries in Eastern Africa where the Women@Work Campaign is being implemented.
The project seeks to address women’s rights issues at the work place by improving on the quality of life of the work force, their families and local communities where the business is being conducted.
Ufadhili Trust is addressing workplace practices that include fair remuneration, job security, health and safety, gender responsive structures, freedom of association and environmental stewardship among others.
Ufadhili is also engaging with other stakeholders who include the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Uganda Flowers Exporters (UFEA) and General Agriculture producers and Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) among others.
So far, seven horticultural farms from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe have signed up for the project. In Kenya, the project targets horticultural companies based in Naivasha in Nakuru County, Kitengela in Kajiado County, Thika in Kiambu County, Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County and Nanyuki in Laikipia County among others. Two horticultural firms, Tambuzi Roses and Equinox Limited from Mount Kenya region are already on board.
In Uganda, two firms, Wagagai Flower Farm and Xclusive Cuttings have been included. In Zimbabwe, the organization is working with Luxaflor Roses, Hayshott Flower Farm and Forrester Estates.
Ufadhili Trust is hopeful that more horticultural companies will come on board to benefit from this intervention which seeks to enhance their sustainability practices.
Some of the on-going activities include; documenting and publishing best practices by the horticultural farms.
The companies will then be able to share their sustainability stories and best practices with the sector stakeholders as well as markets in Europe and forums such as the annual International Trade Fair Exhibition in Nairobi among others.
Ufadhili Trust is also conducting capacity gap audits and enhancing the capacity of the participating organisations and companies. The companies/organizations will also benefit from peer-to-peer exchange visits by participating in the project. So far they have not experienced any major challenges except the fact that misunderstandings exist between the civil society organisations and the companies because there hasn’t been sufficient engagement between the two stakeholders.