Fairtrade farmers are among the people who have contributed the least to climate crisis – but are already feeling the worst effects. 17 people from Cote d’Ivoire have the same carbon footprint as one person in the UK, but studies have shown that Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change.
But across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania, it is small-scale farmers who are often feeling the worst effects of climate breakdown. This is because they are less likely to earn a living income due to exploitative global trade and more likely to rely directly on the land they farm for their livelihoods. Climate change is making it harder to farm the land productively, while rigged trade systems which favour the powerful leave farmers unable to earn enough to adapt to the rapidly changing climate.
Ebrottié Tanoh Florentin, a cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire, talks about what climate change means for cocoa farming communities in West Africa. ‘Climate change is a global issue. We, the farmers, have to deal with its consequences every day. For instance, this year we lacked food because of the heat. The production decreased this year too, so this affects the economy. People harvested less and received less money. So we all suffer from the negative consequences of the climate: it impacts the environment and our economy.’