FAIRTRADE GUERNSEY ANNOUNCES NEW PATRON
To coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, which runs from 22nd February to 7th March, Fairtrade Guernsey is announcing the appointment of a new Patron. Sir Richard Collas, former Bailiff of Guernsey, succeeds Sir de Vic Carey, another former Bailiff, who stepped down in 2020 after 15 years. Sir de Vic was Fairtrade Guernsey’s founding Patron when the island first achieved Fairtrade status in 2006.
Sean McManus, Chair of the Fairtrade Guernsey Steering Group, said:
“I truly welcome the willingness of Sir Richard Collas to become the new Patron of Fairtrade Guernsey. Very few individuals could step into the shoes of Sir de Vic Carey but Sir Richard brings that rare blend of experience and those hugely valuable skills which do so much to enhance the role of Patron in a community that remains genuinely proud of its Fairtrade Island status.”
Sir Richard Collas, new Patron of Fairtrade Guernsey, said:
“It is an honour to be invited to follow Sir de Vic as Patron of Fairtrade Guernsey and to continue to promote support for, and awareness of, the needs of other communities around the world. By supporting Fairtrade products, we can all contribute to improving working conditions for some of the most exploited and vulnerable workforces and to helping their communities to become more sustainable.”
Sir Richard’s career has been split between law and public service. After a successful career in law that led him to become a partner at Collas Day & Rowland, he was appointed to the office of Deputy Bailiff in 2005 and then in 2012 became the 89th Bailiff of Guernsey. In 2014 he was awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services. Since retirement, Sir Richard has become Chair of the Guernsey Community Foundation, director with Help A Guernsey Child and Les Bourgs Hospice, and is involved in a wide range of community activities and initiatives.
Sir de Vic Carey, outgoing Patron of Fairtrade Guernsey, said: “It has been an honour to serve as Patron of Fairtrade Guernsey for the last 15 years. Its continuing success in maintaining the profile of Guernsey as a Fairtrade Island is down almost entirely to the ongoing hard work and dedication of the small steering group supported by the good sense of Guernsey people in seeking out ethically sourced products when they are out shopping. I wish the new Patron and the steering group well.”
Fairtrade Fortnight continues until Sunday 7th March with a focus on how the climate crisis is impacting farmers and food supplies. Islanders are being encouraged to take part in a number of online activities and events to raise awareness of how choosing to buy Fairtrade can bring about lasting change – see Fairtrade Guernsey’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FairtradeGuernsey for full details.
This Fairtrade Fortnight (22nd Feb to 7th Mar), Fairtrade Guernsey is running the following events:
‘Choose the World you Want’ creative competition for all school-age children, deadline Friday 26th Feb
Throughout the whole Fortnight – Big Fairtrade Lockdown Breakfast. Treat yourself to a special breakfast at home with family or have a business breakfast online with work colleagues. There is a Fairtrade hamper to be won for the best picture posted on Facebook.
Sat 27th Feb from 7.45pm – Fairtrade Virtual Quiz (see Facebook page for joining instructions)
Sat 6th March at 10am – climate themed virtual story time with the Guille-Allès children’s library
To find out more about all these events and how to take part, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FairtradeGuernsey
…..and our Annual Fairtrade Quiz will hopefully be held this Autumn.
CHOOSE FAIRTRADE EVERY DAY!
We’re thinking about farmers and workers who urgently need to earn more to have the power to adapt to the climate crisis they face every day.
Every single time you choose Fairtrade, or decided to campaign with us, you’re choosing to put more power and more money in the hands of those farmers and workers who are sorely disadvantaged by unfair global trade. Your support leads to more clinics delivering life-saving care, more businesses growing sustainably and more children getting a quality education, thanks to farmers democratically choosing how to invest their Fairtrade Premium locally.
In fact, despite the huge difficulties caused by the current pandemic, our global Fairtrade movement continues to make countless positive changes in communities all around the world.
Whatever you do in 2021, thank you for being part of that!
As 2020 draws to a close, it’s tempting to reflect on what we haven’t done or been able to do this year. Whether that’s getting on with our jobs, seeing our family or simply taking a break. But trust us, you have done more than you think this year. Because you choose Fairtrade, farmers and workers across the world have had more power and more resources right when they need it most. Chief Executive Mike Gidney has refleceds on how critical the strength and solidarity of the global Fairtrade community has been for the people behind our everyday essentials, as they’ve faced up to the twin crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic and the escalating effects of climate change.
How Fairtrade helps fuel the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Every time you choose Fairtrade, you generate Fairtrade Premium funds. Then, the farmers and workers behind those products democratically decide how to best invest those funds locally. Throughout the pandemic, many Fairtrade co-operatives have used those funds to protect the most vulnerable in their communities. From sending vital supplies to a local elderly home and distributing thousands of face masks to giving funds to workers to ensure they have enough to get by, the Fairtrade Premium you have helped create by choosing Fairtrade has been a real lifeline this year.
How Fairtrade means a louder voice for those on the front line of the climate crisis. Rural farmers and workers in low-income countries have done the least to cause the climate crisis – the average carbon footprint of someone in Côte d’Ivoire is 17 times smaller than the average person in the UK – but they are already feeling the worst effects. And because of unjust global trade, they aren’t earning enough to adapt to increasingly erratic weather patterns, more rampant plant disease and declining soil quality. That’s why it was so critical that just last week Fairtrade Africa Chairperson Mary Kinyua joined world leaders at the Climate Ambition summit as one of the keynote speakers. Globally, our Fairtrade movement needs to be at the forefront of the campaign for climate justice, because our priorities are defined by the farmers and workers who deal with the reality of climate change every day. And next year during Fairtrade Fortnight you’ll be hearing much more about why the climate crisis means it’s more important than ever that farmers and workers earn enough to build a sustainable future.
Why Fairtrade means coming together to choose a better world. In short, what we’re trying to say is Fairtrade has meant something very special this year. It’s meant a global platform for those most affected by climate change to challenge those most responsible for the climate crisis to take urgent action. It’s meant a lifeline to those communities most vulnerable to the serious threats – health and economic – brought by the Coronavirus pandemic. But Fairtrade is only able to make this change happen because it means so much to so many of us. This was made even clearer this year, as over 300,000 people signed petitions in solidarity with cocoa and sugar farmers when Nestle stopped using Fairtrade ingredients in their KitKat bars. And every single day, millions of us choose to stand with farmers and workers across the world, when we take the time to look for a FAIRTRADE Mark when doing our shopping.
Whatever else you’ve done this year, thank you for choosing to be a part of all this. Thank you for choosing Fairtrade and choosing a better future. Season’s greetings from everyone at the Fairtrade Foundation.
Speaking to world leaders at the Climate Ambition Summit, Fairtrade Africa’s Mary Kinyua said progress to net zero is not fast enough, and called for governments to work harder to bring down supply chain emissions.
Mary Kinyua, the chair of Fairtrade Africa, delivered a rallying call on behalf of Fairtrade farmers to Heads of Government meeting at the COP26 Ambition Summit – on Saturday, 12 December, 2020.
Speaking from Kenya on behalf of the 1.7 million farmers and workers around the world represented by Fairtrade, she welcomed business and government plans for net zero emissions, but said: ‘We’re not going fast enough. Change by 2050 is too late. The weather is changing now.’
Referencing the recent hurricanes that have devastated Central America in the last month, where crops of coffee, cocoa, honey, and vegetables have been destroyed, Ms Kinyua called on governments around the world to act now and protect the world’s farmers by, ‘bringing down supply chain emissions, to set targets, and take steps to support and if need be compel businesses to decarbonise their supply chains.’
Climate change is the biggest threat to farmers’ livelihoods – not only in the global south, but worldwide. Ms Kinyua said, ‘We cannot expect – and it is not fair to expect – producers to absorb the costs of more sustainable methods of farming when they’re not even able to earn a living income or living wage, because the price they receive for their produce is far too low. This needs to change – and it needs to change fast.
‘Tackling climate change properly means helping farmers and workers with the cost of switching to low carbon production and transport. And that cannot happen if we’re not prepared to pay for it.
‘So as a matter of justice and a matter of science, action on the climate crisis cannot be delayed any longer.’
Fairtrade welcomes the opportunity from the summit organisers for Ms Kinyua to bring the voices of farmers and workers directly to world leaders today. More and more companies are talking to Fairtrade about working to reduce emissions but stronger government action is needed. Ending her message, Ms Kinyua said, ‘the work we will do together over the next year we hope will result in a COP that puts us firmly on the path to net zero.’
Dario Soto Abril, CEO Fairtrade International, explains why fair trade must become the norm rather than the exception to tackle child labour in West African cocoa production.
Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire together produce about 60% of the world’s cocoa supply each year. However, they do so with reliance on child labour. This is the harsh reality of the cocoa industry – and a stark reminder of the reality Fairtrade faces in our efforts to change the way the world does business.
It is estimated that more than 1.48 million children are engaged in hazardous child labour in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Fairtrade estimates that this number is likely higher, as we consider child labour through the lens of minimum age, hazardous labour and unconditional child labour. Unfortunately, these numbers do not come as a surprise to Fairtrade. Since 2009, we have been working diligently to tackle this problem – and not only in the cocoa industry.
What we know, without a doubt, is that there’s no single reason for child labour use in this cocoa sector; instead, there are many complex and interdependent causes. Poverty, low wages, labour shortages, poor working conditions, weak governmental involvement, lack of impactful educational opportunities, unsafe schools, exploitation and discrimination, political unrest and conflict – and now the effects of COVID-19, as well – all contribute to the use of child labour in the West African production of cocoa.
Poverty and discrimination remain formidable forces in pushing children into the workforce and unsafe environments. When farmers are trapped in poverty, they can’t afford to invest in more efficient methods to improve their income and, as such, resort to the cheapest forms of child labour. Also, when children’s rights are not respected, dependence on their labour can increase.
We say the guaranteed Fairtrade Premium is important, so that producer organizations can choose to implement the support their communities need, including building schools, to make it easier and safer for children to receive a quality education.
In 2019, we raised both the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the Fairtrade Premium by 20% to move cocoa producers closer to a living income.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that voluntary solutions are not enough. It must become a collective effort of all actors. Producers and their communities are already living in poverty. It is simply not realistic – or fair – to expect producers to bear the costs of implementing child labour monitoring and remediation systems when they don’t make enough to cover their basic needs. So, who’s going to pay to end child labour? Shared accountability is the only way to end child labour in cocoa production. Voluntary certifications have a critical role to play in raising the bar on expectations; designing and implementing frameworks for commercial partners’ and producers’ accountability, complementing legal requirements; and in providing much-needed on the ground support.
Consumers must demand accountability from chocolate brands, retailers, and human and environmental rights due diligence regulation from their governments. They must buy products aligned with their values: providing producers with stable income that allows them the ability to plan for their futures and decide how best to invest in their communities and farms.
It must not take another 20 years to turn fair trade from the exception to the norm.
Are you passionate about trade justice, environmental protection and Guernsey’s contribution to these two global issues? Then come along to the Fairtrade Steering Group meeting on Thursday 1st October, 7.30pm at Capelles Community Centre. Amongst other things we’ll be planning activities for Fairtrade Fortnight in Feb/Mar 2021 – which will coincide with Guernsey’s 15th anniversary as a Fairtrade Island. We’d love to see some new faces! Feel free to message us if you’d like some more info.