Anne Fransen Fund 2024 Projects Announced

16 May 2024

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, Cape Verde, Mexico, Mali and Indonesia.

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

Lembaga Konsumen Yogyakarta (LKY), Indonesia, who propose to prevent non-communicable diseases by encouraging informed consumer choices and promoting sustainable food systems. In Indonesia, the rise of catastrophic diseases has been alarming, reaching 23.27 million people in 2022. These diseases are largely attributed to unhealthy eating habits, particularly the consumption of ultra-processed food (UPF), which are packed with sugars, salts, fats, and additives. To combat this, LKY will launch the Consumers Awareness Group on Ultra-Processed Food Consumption Control. The mission is threefold: empowering women to make healthier food choices, educating rural communities about the dangers of UPF, and advocating for access to locally sourced, safer alternatives

Consumer Council of Fiji (CCF), who will advocate for healthier eating habits and help consumer make better food choices. Fiji, like many other countries, face challenges related to non-communicable diseases linked to dietary habits. As Fiji’s leading consumer advocacy organisation, CCF aims to educate consumers on nutritional information. They also plan to improve Fiji's food labelling laws to ensure these align with global standards and push for changes that support clear and consistent labeling. Additionally, they will work with the Ministry of Health to create voluntary guidelines for businesses to adopt standardised and user-friendly front-of-pack labels, fostering a culture of transparency and shared responsibility in promoting healthier food choices.

Tec-Check Digital Consumer Organisation A.C., Mexico, who will see to consumer rights in cross-border resolution complaints. Despite e-commerce growth, coordinated consumer protection across borders remains lacking. Tec-Check will establish digital redress mechanisms in at least three Latin American countries, ensuring consumers can file complaints against foreign providers. They will launch a digital complaint platform to help consumers in Latin and North America resolve cross-border e-commerce issues. 

REDECOMA, Mali, who will prioritise raising awareness and educating consumers and street food sellers about the dangers of unsafe food and the importance of hygiene. REDECOMA will run six training sessions on quality and hygiene practices for 150 sellers and 50 food vendors in each of the six communes of the Bamako district. Additionally, efforts are being made to work with regulatory and municipal authorities to improve the sanitary conditions of street food sales. These initiatives intend to protect consumer rights and address the challenges of information gaps and illiteracy in a developing country.

Associação para Defesa do Consumidor (ADECO), Cape Verde, who will aim to ensure easy financial services for all consumers. In Cape Verde, financial literacy is low despite efforts to reduce inequalities and promote quality education. Many people struggle to understand available banking and microfinance services, making it hard to make informed decisions. To tackle this, ADECO will educate consumers and train its staff. This will help consumers make better financial choices and equip ADECO employees to guide them effectively and resolve any conflicts.

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.