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Consumers International

Anne Fransen Fund 2023: Awards given to new projects advancing consumer protection in the digital space, healthy nutrition and more

Consumers International is delighted to announce that six of our members have been chosen to receive funding through the Anne Fransen Fund (AFF). This year’s winners are from Ecuador, Fiji, Mexico, Nepal, Rwanda and Tajikistan.

About the Anne Fransen Fund

The Anne Fransen Fund is an annual grant prize which promotes the growth of the consumer movement in developing countries. Grants are awarded to consumer organisations to carry out projects linked to one of the eight consumer rights.

The fund was founded in 1988 in memory of Anne Fransen, the first director of our Dutch member, Consumentenbond. Since then, Consumentenbond has provided nearly a million euros in funding to consumer groups in developing countries, enabling these groups to have a greater impact and to enhance their institutional capacity.

This year’s winners include

  • Tribuna Ecuatoriana de Consumidores y Usuarios (Tribuna), Ecuador, who will focus on promoting the consumption of nutritious and healthy foods by organising educational programmes on nutrition for women’s organisations in five provinces of Ecuador. Ecuador grapples with malnutrition and unhealthy nutrition caused by a lack of access to healthy and safe food as well as by unhealthy purchasing behaviours. As the population is influenced by the advertising practices of providers of unhealthy food, it loses interest in local and traditional foods, which are nutritious, less processed and cheaper. In this context, Tribuna will inform and educate consumers on nutrition and influence them to incorporate healthier diets in their lifestyles.
  • Consumer Council of Fiji (CCF), Fiji, who will advocate against the consumption of suki (dried tobacco leaves) and inform consumers of the socio-economic and health impacts of suki consumption. Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services revealed that approximately 1,200 deaths each year can be attributed to suki consumption (Fiji’s population is less than 1 million) and iterated the need for awareness and advocacy on the topic. As Fiji’s leading consumer advocacy organisation, CCF aims to effect change in this area.
  • Tec-Check Digital Consumer Organisation A.C., Mexico, who will look at consumer rights in a digital economy. As increasingly more consumers purchase goods online, they also need an online redress mechanism. However, when encountering issues, consumers must file a complaint physically in one of the offices of the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco). To ensure that Mexico’s redress mechanism keeps up with the reality of the market, consumers are able to exercise their rights in a digital economy and to facilitate consumer complaints, Tec-Check develop and run an online platform that allows consumers to file their complaints online and follow up on the process.
  • Consumer Eye Nepal (CEN), Nepal, who will aim to ensure meat safety from production to consumption. In the context of inadequate attention to the quality of meat at the national level, CEN partner with the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and local women’s groups to assess existing food safety measures, quality and prices of meat from production to consumption and identify safety gaps. CEN will also roll out an education initiative to ensure consumers and others understand what role they can play to seehigh-quality, safer and more affordable meat in the marketplace.
  • Rwanda Consumers Rights Protection Organization (ADECOR), Rwanda, who will focus on creating awareness around the law regulating consumer protection when using financial service. The law regulating consumer protection when using financial service in Rwanda was the result of the efforts deployed by ADECOR and its partners, particularly Consumer International through the Anne Fransen Fund, for facilitating efforts during information collection, awareness about the need for this law and linkages established with stakeholders. In this context, ADECOR educates consumers on what the law is and how it affects them.
  • Consumers Union of Tajikistan, Tajikistan, who will advance consumer rights in housing. On average, 60-70% of consumer complaints coming to the Consumer Union of Tajikistan relate specifically to housing and communal services. In this context, Consumers Union aim to increase the level of consumers’ legal literacy related to housing and communal services through a mass information campaign and therefore reduce the risks of consumer rights violations in this area.
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