Fair trade is what farmers want not your charity

It was such a refreshing and exciting experience interacting with Vivian Kabuye of Spicy Duuka, that is located at Kitoro Main Market in Entebbe. Wow! Spicy Duuka for me was an excellent find. It is everything that I envisage as an ideal standard for trading in valued added dried food items.

I dare say, Spicy Duuka is probably one of its kind in Entebbe. Clean, clean, clean items all round and in addition hygienically stored. Judging from their price for dried calyces of hibiscus sabdariffa of Ug. Shs. 16,000 (sixteen thousand shillings) per kilogram, their wide range of products are priced fairly.

Vivian told me that they are a group who co-own Spicy Duuka – growers, suppliers, marketers – and seemingly a group through which they are in control of the value chains of all the products that they sell – from seed to farm and from farm to shop. What a fantastic model to adopt or adapt.

I wonder, do we have a section within the Duty Free area at Entebbe International Airport which is reserved for traders such as Spicy Duuka who deal in organically home grown value added produce? I suspect not. If so, what a shame.

Spicy Duuka is exactly what I had in mind when I critiqued the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) for incompetence. Yes, that incompetence which allows traders to intentionally add impurities in food items that they sell in order to increase the weight and, therefore, get paid more for less.

Well, you don’t have to be in UNBS to discourage the cheating trader. Simply adopt the attitude and practice to pay fair price to those, such as Spicy Duuka, who adhere to public health and trading standards.

I have thus resolved that Spicy Duuka is on my shopping list and only when they don’t have what I want will I go elsewhere. And I have noted major learning points for when I re-open my Alinga Farms Shop in Entebbe and also in Ogaramio in Pallisa.

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