Within the framework of the “Enhanced Socio-Economic Status of Women in South Lebanon” project, implemented by the Lebanon Family Planning Association for Development and Family Empowerment (LFPADE), in partnership with "Ricerca and Cooperazione", “Kawkaba’s Cooperative Association for Food Processing” and “Hasbaya’s Women Cooperative” participated in the Garden Show and Spring Festival, which celebrated its 15th edition at the Beirut Hippodrome from 30 May - 2 June 2018. This project was supported by AFKAR 3, program managed by the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform and funded by the European Union.
Showing up daily from 4 - 11 pm, the women presented various natural agro-food products under the exhibition theme “Sounds in the Garden”. Together with more than 220 exhibitors, the beneficiaries had the chance to introduce their products to thousands of visitors. They had real exposure to different exhibitors presenting similar items and practical experience with the competition that they may face in the future.
It was a great learning experience that they can share with their cooperatives. Overall, the beneficiaries showed great enthusiasm in marketing their items to both Lebanese and foreign visitors.
The women explained about their mode of production: from the natural raw ingredients, the food safety process of manufacturing, and the dietary benefits of their products. They showed pride in selling their items which, according to them, reminds people of their heritage and facilitates their engagement in healthy lifestyle. They told the participants that all their products are ‘Balade’, meaning that they are prepared in the traditional way that preserves the dietary benefits of the products while introducing the customer to the real ‘Lebanese food taste’.
Many people attending the festival welcomed LFPADE’s efforts to support women-led cooperative and were passionate about ideas related to socio-economic empowerment of Lebanese women.