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Rose Boatemaa Mensah (30), from Brong Ahafo, Ghana, is spending 12 days in New Zealand on a visit organised by Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking to pupils at Dunedin North Intermediate School, Mrs Mensah said earnings from cocoa helped fund a mobile health clinic for her community. This was made possible by the premium earned by the fair trade system, she emphasised.
Over time, it was hoped the community could build a permanent clinic.
She and her husband were part of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, a free trade certified organisation with 85,000 members. Run on democratic lines, the organisation encouraged women to be equal with men in participation, she said.
''With fair trade, I have a future,'' Mrs Mensah said.
Funds from fair trade goods also paid for education and clean water initiatives.
Pupils from Purakaunui School and North East Valley Normal School also attended the talk.