Wouldn’t it be nice if Aurigny or Blue Islands supported Fairtrade too!
Amanda Evans and Ann Battye, members of the Guernsey Fairtrade steering group, visited Hautes Capelles Primary school on 8th March 2017 to help out with some Fairtrade activities. All the pupils in Year 6 were involved in cooking muffins (either Fairtrade banana, honey & oats, Fairtrade chocolate & orange or Fairtrade white chocolate and blueberries). Others pupils made a Fairtrade fridge cake and some also made Fairtrade crispy rice nests. When they weren’t cooking, the pupils were busy playing the Fairtrade ‘Breaks and Ladders’ game and creating Fairtrade recipes and artwork. A big thank-you to all the staff and pupils at Hautes Capelles for their support and also to the Channel Islands co-op, who provided vouchers to buy all the cooking ingredients.
Fairtrade has empowered women farmers like Kabore Christine, a mango farmer from Burkina Faso in West Africa. After fleeing war in Côte d’Ivoire, many women in her community were left widowed and homeless. Kabore Christine now looks after 15 children, including eight of her own. Together, the women in her co-operative are rebuilding their lives.
Since becoming Fairtrade certified, Kabore Christine and farmers in a number of other co-operatives have used their Fairtrade Premium to improve their communities. They have provided women farmers with loans for bicycles so they can get to work and for gas cookers for their homes. The co-operatives have also invested in healthcare centres, adult literacy classes and a crèche.
So, when you pick up your dried mango in your local F
airtrade store, you could be eating fruit grown by Kabore Christine. Just pop into a store near you and see for yourself just how many delicious Fairtrade products there are.
With Fairtrade, tea producers also receive the Fairtrade Premium of $0.50 for every kilo of tea sold. In 2015, tea farmers and estate workers earned more than $6.3m in Premiums, which they invested mainly in social projects, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
For example, Maheve Secondary School, 520 students, has benefited from the Fairtrade Premium from Kibena Tea Estate in Tanzania, which has built four classrooms, two laboratories, two staff quarters and two hostels that house 120 students.
Millions of farmers in developing countries who grow our food aren’t paid enough to feed their own families.
Choose Fairtrade – because farmers deserve a fair deal.
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The Co-op is to become the first UK retailer to use only Fairtrade cocoa in its products, giving a huge boost to the Fairtrade movement.
The company is already a strong supporter of Fairtrade, sourcing products from over 20 countries and supporting around 250,000 farmers.
The switch too 100 per cent Fairtrade cocoa will cover more than 200 products, from the sprinkles on its doughnuts to chocolate tortes, and will be completed by the end of May 2017.
Look what a friend brought back from their trip to New Zealand recently. Wonder if the milk is from a Guernsey cow?! (Main thing it’s Fairtrade!!)
This year, St Valentine’s Day marked the tenth anniversary of Co-op launching its first ever range of Fairtrade roses. Since 2007, the ethical retailer has gone on to buy 100 million stems of Fairtrade flowers, delivering almost £1.5 million in Fairtrade Premium to support flower farm communities in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
For over 15,000 people who handpick Co-op’s Fairtrade roses and ‘Out of Africa’ flower bouquet, this long-term relationship has provided decent employment, workplace benefits and environmental protection.
Brad Hill, Co-op’s Fairtrade manager, said: “We are delighted to celebrate our ten year anniversary with Fairtrade flowers this Valentine’s Day. Over the last decade, our customers have fallen head over heels for the high-quality, beautiful blooms that African flower farms grow for our enjoyment and on their behalf I feel very proud that Co-op has helped to pump such a significant amount of funding back into the heart of these communities. Roses are a powerful symbol of love and as February 14th comes round again, we know that our customers will be just as passionate about buying Fairtrade flowers that improve the lives of those who produce them.”
Across the Fairtrade system, around 50,000 people work in Fairtrade flower farms and 55% of workers are female.The majority of Co-op’s Fairtrade flowers come from Kenya, which is a leading exporter of flowers to Europe, and as an industry it employs 500,000 people. Jen Shepherd, Flowers Supply Chain Manager, said: “In the 10 years since Co-op launched its first bunches of red roses, thousands of workers have benefitted. With Fairtrade, when shoppers buy Fairtrade flowers they can be sure that workers receive good working conditions, and in addition, they benefit from social investments in their communities.
“Co-op and their customers have been champions of Fairtrade flower workers for a decade, and we thank them for this support. UK shoppers care deeply about this and each year we’ve seen increasing sales of Fairtrade flowers. And at a time of year when we buy roses to show our loved ones how much we care, we hope even more people will say it with Fairtrade.”
Flamingo Horticulture is one of Co-op’s Kenyan rose suppliers, which, alongside six other Fairtrade flower farms, pooled funding generated by the Fairtrade Premium in to a local clinic to address the lack of maternity services in their area. Since the clinic opened in 2013, it has delivered a life-saving service for the community and more than 21,000 babies have been born safely. Jen Shepherd, Fairtrade Flowers Supply Manager, said: “Shoppers’ support for Fairtrade has literally turned stalks into storks!” The maternity clinic’s manager, James Wattuman, added: ““Before the hospital was built, women had to give birth at home and they stood little chance of surviving childbirth. The impact that the hospital has had on the community isn’t just seen with the eyes. We feel it in our hearts. Every time a woman leaves the hospital with their new bundle of joy – I feel like life is giving me a high-five.” To celebrate these new mums who are now able to get the care they need, this year the Co-op will be stocking a Fairtrade Mother’s Day Mixed Rose line in time for Mother’s Day.
Over the past 10 years sales of Fairtrade flowers have been growing, with a 9% increase in volumes between 2014 and 2015 alone. In 2015, more than £5.7million worth of Premium was provided to Fairtrade flower farms.
Flower farmers and workers
The cut flower trade is now a major industry in both developing and developed countries, with global trade estimated to be worth more than $100 billion a year. The Netherlands is a major exporter of cut flowers, accounting for 55% of trade followed by Colombia (18%), Ecuador (9%) and Kenya (6%). The major consumptions markets are Germany (19%), USA (17%), UK (16%) and the Netherlands (13%).
The industry is becoming increasingly important to the economies of developing counties, bringing in vital foreign exchange for investment in economic development. Most flowers are produced on commercial farms and provide employment opportunities and improved livelihoods for millions of workers. Colombia’s flower exports, for example, generates an income for around 800,000 people while Kenya’s flower industry provides vital income for up to two million people and is the country’s second largest agricultural foreign exchange earner (after tea) at more than $500 million a year.
The flower industry employs a largely female workforce of poor, less educated and therefore vulnerable workers. It has long had a reputation for poor working conditions including low pay, over-crowded housing and repression of trade unions. Over the past years, conditions have vastly improved for workers in many countries, but there are still challenges.
Fairtrade aims to protect and benefit workers on flowers farms by working with certified farms to ensure decent working conditions for their employees and protecting workers’ rights. These rights encompass economic, environmental and social dimensions of working conditions but also aim to amplify and strengthen the voice and choices of workers’ themselves. A recent study by Fairtrade International with three certified flower plantations in Ecuador, provides useful insight into how workers view their own empowerment and how Fairtrade can support their goals
Fairtrade works with 55 Fairtrade certified flower producer organisations in eight countries, representing 48,500 workers. Fairtrade sales generate an additional Fairtrade Premium for workers to invest in projects of their choice. In 2014, sales of almost 640 million stems meant flower plantation workers received Premium payments of £4.4 million which they spent on education, housing improvements, finance and credit services, as well as supporting education in their communities by renovating school buildings and providing student bursaries.
This video about Ravine Roses, a Fairtrade certified flower plantation in Kenya, shows the difference that Fairtrade Premium funds have made to worker empowerment and community development in the region. (Source Fairtrade Foundation)