COP26 – Fairtrade farmers’ writing to politicians on climate change

‘Seize this moment, listen to our voices, and ensure that we can continue to feed the world.’

These words end a letter from 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers, addressed to politicians coming to the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow next month. Fairtrade farmers and workers know this is our last, best chance for us to turn a corner on climate change together. We need to tell politicians it’s time to respect these farmers and workers as experts on tackling a climate crisis they see every day. Whole communities’ futures, and many of the Fairtrade products we love, are under immediate threat from climate change. But all around the world Fairtrade farmers and workers are pioneering innovative ways to tackle climate change. From tree planting in Ghana to bio-diversity projects in Guatemala, thousands of Fairtrade farmers are doing amazing work right now to build a more sustainable future. With more money in their hands, they could do so much more.

For years, the world’s wealthiest nations – those most responsible for climate change – have promised to create a $100 billion per year climate investment fund. A fund that could be used by communities in low-income countries feeling the worst effects of climate change. But politicians have failed to keep that promise. And of the funding that has been delivered, only 2 per cent reaches those smallholder farmers living with some of the worst effects of the climate crisis. In Fairtrade farmers and workers’ letter to world leaders, the message is clear: this needs to change,
for the future of their communities, for the future of the crops they grow and for all of us.

It’s time for an end to the generations of exploitation of people and planet. We will not survive the climate crisis unless we deliver what we have promised. Politicians must listen to and respect the expertise, needs and ambitions of farmers. It’s time to get behind Fairtrade farmers and workers demanding a fairer future.

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