All Posts By

Steve Mauger

News

Cocoa is king in Cote d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, cocoa is king. But life is hard for many of the farmers in West Africa who grow nearly 60 percent of the world’s supply. They’re poorly paid for what they grow. In late 2016, the price of cocoa crashed. Extreme poverty is rife. It’s even harder for the women who work in the fields, and at home, but often see little of the profit. But a new crop of women cocoa farmers are growing in courage and standing tall with men. Together, they’re asking a simple question: don’t we deserve more?

It’s 5am and Généviève Yapipko is already awake. She sweeps the front yard of her house, prepares breakfast for her family then takes up a machete to tend to her waiting cocoa trees. Généviève isn’t your usual farmer. In fact, in a country where one in six people depend on cocoa for a living, to meet a woman who owns and runs her farm is slightly unusual.

‘If you’re not courageous then you cannot own a cocoa farm,’ Généviève says. And she’s not wrong. It’s not just the physical demands of running a farm and a family that require that particular brand of strength. Or, for women at least, traversing the well-worn furrows ploughed deep in communities traditionally dominated by men.

Perhaps most of all, to be a cocoa farmer is to brave a volatile cocoa market that, in Côte d’Ivoire, is leaving the average farmer living on around 74p a day.

It’s women who carry the heaviest burden, often with fewer rights than men.

Learn more. Go to…….

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk

Featured

Thank you!

……… for helping to make Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 such a great success!

Please keep buying Fairtrade and spread the word…..

News

6 reasons to buy Fairtrade flowers

https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/media-centre/blog/6-reasons-why-you-should-buy-fairtrade-flowers/

6 Reasons why you should buy Fairtrade Flowers

Did you know that during colder months, when you buy a bunch of roses in the UK, they are often grown in Africa?

We rebut some of the common myths to demonstrate that in fact, with Fairtrade flowers, you can feel good about your floral shopping habits.

1. FAIRTRADE FLOWERS HAVE A LOWER CARBON FOOTPRINT

One of the most common questions we get is why fly flowers over from East Africa when we can grow them in Europe. So, to find out, Fairtrade commissioned a study about the environmental impact of roses from Kenya compared to those grown in the Netherlands (Treeze, 2018). Greenhouse gas emissions from the production of Fairtrade roses in Kenya were found to be 5.5 times lower and with 6.5 times lower energy demand, even taking into account air transport to Europe. The climate in Africa is ripe for growing flowers, and often in Europe the cost of recreating that environment can come at a heavy carbon footprint.

2. FAIRTRADE FLOWER FARMS ARE REDUCING WATER USAGE

Longonot Wetlands, Kenya

Carbon footprint isn’t the only environmental issue that is being addressed on Fairtrade flower farms. Some farms are collecting rainwater for irrigation, whilst others are using wetlands to purify the water that comes out of the greenhouses, through a series of carefully constructed and efficient pools. This not only purifies the water so that there is no water pollution, but it is cyclical; the water is re-used for watering the plants again and again.

3. FAIRTRADE FLOWER FARMS PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

Hippo in Flower Farm Wildlife Sanctury

The Naivasha region in Kenya is a popular place for flower farms due to its fertile soils and close supply of water from Lake Victoria. Fairtrade flower businesses are well aware that to maintain a sustainable business they need to look after their environment.

Many Fairtrade flower farms are piloting natural solutions (from cow manure to compost) to increase productivity and tackle pests without harming the environment. In fact, all the Fairtrade farms in Kenya are making positive conservation steps. Some examples include planting 11,000 trees, collecting litter for fuel for a community cooker, and even running a conservation park!

4. FAIRTRADE IS PIONEERING GENDER EMPOWERMENT

Women’s empowerment is firmly on the global agenda, and Fairtrade is leading the way. There have been huge steps forward, but there are still many challenges, and the transitory nature of workers employed in the flower industry means that issues such as harassment are difficult to track. One of the best signs that this is being tackled is that women tend to stay longer on Fairtrade farms, indicating that they are happier with their working environment.

Roughly 50% of all workers on flower farms are women, this is higher than many other sectors, and so there is a real opportunity to pave the way to better gender equality. Fairtrade Africa have run training courses on Fairtrade farms to raise awareness about women’s rights, what constitutes harassment and how to implement an effective gender policy.

Flower worker at Panda Flowers

It goes further: Fairtrade Standards require farms to have gender committees, which are working hard to promote equality and protect workers from discrimination. The standards also call for equal representation on all farm committees; the gender committees are crucially helping to change attitudes, challenge negative behaviour and stereotypes about gender and they are having a positive effect on the wider community. This is the key to unlocking sustained and long-term change.

To quote one woman at Bigot flower farm in Kenya: “when we joined Fairtrade, we received trainings and were made aware…there used to be a lot more sexual harassment and discrimination back then…but now, with Fairtrade, we have power and get work done. The gender committee has become somewhere for people to go.”

Low wages. The biggest battle we are fighting today within global supply chains. Overcoming this obstacle is core to Fairtrade’s mission. However, it is complex and cannot be solved by simply asking farms to pay higher wages. A well-known and influential business, Finlay’s Flowers recently announced it plans to close after increases in wages became unsustainable and rendered the farm commercially unviable.

So at Fairtrade we collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, including businesses, farmers and workers to come up with plans for the sector to increase wages, and within our system we recently reviewed our Flower Standards and introduced a minimum floor wage in 2018.

Fairtrade flower farm worker holding white roses

The Premium is also used to open the door to higher earning roles, with opportunities for adult education courses and training for employees. The crucial thing though is that it’s up to elected committees to decide how to invest the Fairtrade Premium, putting more power in the hands of workers.

6. FAIRTRADE FLOWERS ARE WORTH IT

Fairtrade strives towards improving wages for those who produce the goods we consume, providing better working conditions, essential safety equipment and strategies to protect workers from exploitation or issues such as sexual harassment.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this is all essential, but we must also all take responsibility to share the cost equally across the entire value chain, for farms cannot bear the burden alone. Ask yourself: would you be willing to pay more for Fairtrade flowers if the money went back to the workers?

Fairtrade orange rose

Fairtrade flowers are a driver of genuine, sustained positive change.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Thank you for supporting Fairtrade Fortnight 2022

In Fairtrade Fortnight this year we highlighted the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in the communities Fairtrade works with.

The facts are straightforward. Farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected by it. The climate crisis is the biggest threat to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and
agricultural workers in low-income countries worldwide.

The pandemic has shown us how interconnected we are globally. This interconnection is at the very heart of the Fairtrade message. Farmers need better incomes and financial support to adapt to changing weather patterns and change their farming methods to ensure a low-carbon economy. By choosing Fairtrade, we show solidarity with those on the frontline of the climate crisis. As part of the Fairtrade movement, we have the power to drive long-term change with our shopping.

So a very big “Thank You” to everyone who chose to support Fairtrade in whatever way in Fairtrade Fortnight. Please continue to choose Fairtrade whenever possible; choose to fight for climate justice, for farmers on the front line of climate change, for our planet and for future generations.

FTF22 Thanks

Fairtrade Fortnight

Choose the world you want……

“My children and grandchildren will have a problem growing coffee if current generations don’t take action against climate change.” Caroline Rono, pictured above on her Fairtrade coffee farm in Kenya.

Caroline sent this vital reminder on the very first day in the Choose The World You Want festival: to choose that fairer world we all want, we can all take action.

And Caroline is leading the way. Like other Fairtrade farmers she’s planted trees on her farm, embraced sustainable energy and taken up training on climate-friendly farming techniques.

Choosing Fairtrade is one way we can join her in taking action. Action that means more power and more income for farmers like Caroline to take on the huge challenges of climate change.

 

Fairtrade Fortnight News

Co-op has announced an industry first………

Co-op has announced, in an industry first, that all of the South African wine stocked in its range, across branded and own-label, is Fairtrade.

Already the world’s largest retailer for Fairtrade wine, Co-op stocks 57 Fairtrade wines, 45 being from South Africa, and latest figures show that the convenience retailer sold 14.5 million litres of Fairtrade wine in 2020.

To further cement its commitment to the South African wine industry, which was hit hard by the impact of Covid-19, Co-op has invested through donations and social premium into a start-up winery, Fairroots, in Olifants River South Africa.

Supporting both the vineyard’s operations and its training programmes, the funding allows Fairroots to develop an education centre, in addition to environment and financial training. The winery spans over 34 hectares, with eight permanent workers, plus additional seasonal producers and Co-op will eventually sell wine from here in its stores, with 206 people benefitting from its sales.

AT THE CO-OP WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE SALE OF FAIRTRADE WINE RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING AND FOR US THE LAST SEVENTEEN YEARS OR SO HAS BEEN A JOURNEY TOWARDS FORGING CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR SUPPLIERS, PROVIDING BETTER QUALITY AND VALUE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS AND – MOST IMPORTANTLY OF ALL – DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO SUPPORT THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE CHAIN: THE VINEYARD WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES. WITH THIS IN MIND WE ARE INCREDIBLY PROUD TO BE ANNOUNCING THAT ALL OUR SOUTH AFRICAN WINES WILL NOW BE MADE ACCORDING TO FAIRTRADE STANDARDS.

‘THE WORK DOES NOT END HERE, HOWEVER! THIS YEAR WE ARE PUTTING IN PLACE AMBITIOUS NEW PROJECTS IN HOUSING AND EDUCATION AND WILL BE WORKING CLOSELY WITH ONE OF OUR FAIRTRADE TRUSTS, WHO NOW OWN THEIR OWN VINEYARD. WITH THE EXTENSIVE SOCIAL BENEFITS WHICH FAIRTRADE BRINGS, TOGETHER WITH THE EXCELLENCE OF THE WINES INVOLVED, SURELY NOW IS THE TIME TO ASK WHY ANYONE WOULD NOT WANT TO CHOOSE FAIRTRADE WINE WHEN BUYING FROM SOUTH AFRICA.

EDWARD ROBINSON, CO-OP FAIRTRADE WINE BUYER
Co-op has had many Fairtrade firsts, as the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade wine. It has established itself as the UK’s largest convenience seller of Fairtrade products and has championed Fairtrade for 25 years. Through the Fairtrade guidelines, producers are guaranteed a fair price for their harvest as well as fair wages, enabling growers to take control of their futures. It’s the only certification that guarantees a Minimum Price and additional Premium for producers to spend on products of their choice, as well as works directly with the producers to strengthen environmental and climate protection, benefiting individual communities as well as supporting climate action all around the world.

LET’S RAISE A GLASS TO THE CO-OP IN CELEBRATION OF THIS LANDMARK FAIRTRADE FIRST FOR SOUTH AFRICAN WINE PRODUCERS. OVER THE PAST YEAR, CO-OP’S SUPPORT HAS LITERALLY ENABLED WINERIES IN THE REGION TO STAY AFLOAT THROUGH THE PANDEMIC, AND THIS COMMITMENT WILL DRIVE SO MUCH MORE BENEFITS TO WORKERS STILL. OVER THE PAST YEAR, WE HAVE CONTINUED TO SEE GROWTH IN THE FAIRTRADE WINE CATEGORY AND RETAILERS PROVIDING CONSUMERS WITH MORE AND MORE CHOICE, AND WE HOPE THIS INDUSTRY-FIRST MOVE BY CO-OP WILL INSPIRE EVEN FURTHER BUSINESS TO GROW THEIR FAIRTRADE WINE OFFERING.

MIKE GIDNEY, CEO AT THE FAIRTRADE FOUNDATION

Fairtrade Fortnight

Will Torrent’s Fairtrade Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake…..

Will Torrent’s Fairtrade Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake with salted caramel frosting is a showstopper any time of year, but is especially fitting for Fairtrade Fortnight.

This delicious cake tastes as good as it looks, with Fairtrade bananas, cocoa and sugar on the inside, a salted caramel sauce drizzled over the top and then a scattering of caramelised pecans to finish.

Will Torrent has been with Waitrose for 10 years and is now Senior Development & Innovation Chef. He is a committed supporter of Fairtrade.

You can find the Fairtrade ingredients for this Bundt cake in your local Waitrose.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE:
John Lewis Professional Non-Stick Decorative Cake Tin
John Lewis ANYDAY Spatula
4 ripe Fairtrade medium bananas
200g Essential Waitrose Unsalted Butter at room temperature, plus extra to grease
85g Essential Waitrose Soured Cream
4 medium Essential Waitrose eggs, lightly beaten
50g Duchy Fairtrade Organic Cocoa Powder, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp vanilla extract
75g Waitrose Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar
100g Waitrose Fairtrade Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
225g Essential Waitrose Plain Flour
50g Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Corn Flour
2 tsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Baking Powder
1 tsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Bicarbonate of Soda
50g Waitrose Pecan Nuts
FOR THE ICING:
100ml Essential Waitrose Double Cream
75g Essential Waitrose Unsalted Butter
200g Waitrose Fairtrade Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
30g Waitrose No.1 Fairtrade Dark Chocolate 80% Peru
½ tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE CARAMELISED PECANS:
50g Waitrose Pecan Nuts
30g Waitrose No.1 Canadian Maple Syrup
Pinch of sea salt
METHOD
Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Melt 2 tsp butter and use to brush the inside of the bundt tin, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Dust with cocoa, covering every surface, then hold the tin upside-down and tap to get rid of the excess. Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth, add the soured cream and vanilla; set aside.
Tip the caster and muscovado sugars and 200g butter into the bowl of a freestanding mixer; beat well until pale and light – about 3-4 minutes. Gradually add the egg, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go. Now add the banana mixture, flour, corn flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and a pinch of salt, mixing to combine thoroughly.
Fold the chopped pecan nuts into the mixture, then spoon into the tin. Level with the back of a spoon and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes, until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 2-3 minutes, then turn out onto on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To make the caramelised pecans, place the nuts onto a greaseproof lined baking sheet and drizzle with 30g (2 tbsp) of the maple syrup. Toast the nuts on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes until crisp and starting to caramelise. Remove from the oven, stir and set aside for 3-4 minutes to cool, then roughly chop.
For the icing, gently heat the sugar, butter and cream in a small saucepan until dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, vanilla and a large pinch of salt and stir until silky smooth; leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Carefully spoon the icing over the cooled cake, allowing it to drizzle over the sides. Leave to set for a few minutes before scattering the top of the cake with the chopped caramelised pecan nuts. Leave to set completely before serving.
Will has been with Waitrose for 10 years, firstly as a Consultant Pastry Chef and now as a Senior Development & Innovation Chef. He is the author of three popular baking books, including the best-selling Afternoon Tea at Home. His no-nonsense approach to the techniques in patisserie and chocolate making has earned high praise in reviews for all his books.

This recipe has been shared as part of our Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 Choose The World You Want festival.

FIND MORE RECIPES IN THE FESTIVAL FOODIE TENT