The growth of fair trade in South Africa over the last few years has been exponential. There are currently over 40 agricultural entities who produce fruit, wine, tea and other goods for the international fair trade market. The small-scale farmers and farm-workers producing these goods are the direct beneficiaries of the system.
But there is more to fair trade than just money, and in practice, small-farmers and farm-workers are weakly represented in fair trade's governance structures. In 2005 a small group of South African fair trade beneficiaries decided to establish the Association for Fairness in Trade (AFIT), an exclusive network to represent their interests.
AFIT provides a platform for members to share knowledge, develop skills and unify their voice as they engage with and improve the fair trade system. AFIT is owned and directed by its members -- small-farmer and farm-worker organisations. Members use AFIT to build their capacity and to lobby for their needs. EMG currently acts as the network's Secretariat.