Today, it's one year since the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan. It has been a tough year of great backlash for girls and women's rights and with rapidly rising poverty, unemployment and isolation.
But in the middle of the darkness, the companies we are dealing with also tell about brighter sides. Security is far better and gone is the situation of chaos, conflict and crime that too many Afghans have lived through. For the first time, the buyers can drive around the country and visit the farmers from whom we buy goods.
The corruption is largely gone. There are no public employees who dare to require bribery and the many roadblocks where payment was previously required. Where it could take weeks and months for our partners to get goods in and out of customs, it now only takes a few days.
The women of the companies we trade with in Afghanistan are still working. We are really happy about that. And it is a huge relief to the women as many are single parents and completely dependent on their wages.
Our board member Tahmina Salik ( # 2 from the right bottom row) visited Ziba Foods in the spring who supplies most of our Afghan goods and met with the female employees.
But many companies are struggling to handle it. There is no longer the same access to capital and customers. The shipping terminal at Kabul airport is still not working, so we have to drive the goods to Uzbekistan. It has become expensive to export. And companies fear being affected by sanctions and failing sales because Western companies no longer dare to trade in Afghanistan.
We dare well in Warfair. Because even though it has been a very uncertain year, we have no doubt that we will continue to trade with the good partners we have in Afghanistan. This is also fully supported by our advisory board and ethical committee.
Last year we tripled the total import into Denmark from Afghanistan, and we are struggling to create even more trade for the benefit of farmers, women and employees of Afghanistan. Just before the summer holidays we got a very large shipment and have a new order on the way.
We hope you will back up by buying the unique quality products from Afghanistan and contributing to creating income and working for the Afghan population.
And then we hope that together we can put pressure on the government in Afghanistan so that the girls can come to school again. Because as the manager of the one company we are dealing with, wrote to us, "That's the most important message." He even has four girls. They deserve a better future.
Thank you for dealing for peace.
The truck with the first consignment we got after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan - on the way over the Friendship Bridge to Uzbekistan.