As Chair of the Kuapa Kokoo Famers Trust, Fatima Ali was the next most senior elected person on the National Executive and as such was asked to step into the Interim role until elections take place next summer.
Fatima’s experience managing the Farmers Trust, which is the fund through which the Fairtrade Premium is invested, has given her a strong commitment to improving the welfare of the Kuapa Kokoo’s farmer members, and keen awareness of how best to deliver benefits that reach more farmers and have most impact. It will be this commitment that will headline her manifesto when it comes to contesting the Presidency at the forthcoming elections next year.
“My vision,” she says, “is to help Kuapa members produce more cocoa, and to continue to manage careful investment of the Fairtrade Premium to ensure maximum benefit for the most people. As well as delivering improvements to communities I want to make sure farmers use these benefits well.”
Many people may remember meeting Fatima and hearing her speak at many events she attended in 2011 representing Kuapa Kokoo and Divine in UK for Fairtrade Fortnight.
Fatima comes from Alikrom village society, a six hour commute from Kuapa HQ in Kumasi, deep in the tropical rainforest of the Western Region, the area producing most cocoa in Ghana. Alikrom was actually established by her father, also a cocoa farmer, in 1981, and today a community of 160 cocoa farmers live there. Fatima is also both a Recorder and President of Akontombra District – so she has a very thorough personal experience of how Kuapa Kokoo works and is organised.
She is helping to finance her seven year old son, as well as a sister and brother, through school.