All Posts By

Steve Mauger

News

Climate crisis – power in the hands of farmers facing it.

After the deep disappointment of the G7 summit, and with the critical UN climate summit COP 26 coming to Glasgow in November it’s vital that we face the future focused and determined.

Let’s demand our politicians back their warm words on climate change with real action and financial commitments that mean more power in the hands of farmers facing a climate crisis.

We’re calling for the nations most responsible for the climate crisis to create a $100 billion climate fund. A fund which the communities most affected by climate change can use to adapt to the rapid changes they are already seeing, and to build sustainable futures.

It is absolutely critical that the expertise of farmers and workers is respected. Communities with first-hand experience of the worst realities of climate change – droughts, rampant plant diseases and more frequent natural disasters – must lead decisions on how any money is spent.

Why are we calling for this?

Because the Climate Crisis isn’t fair. The wealthiest 10 per cent of people produce 50 per cent of global carbon emissions. But it’s the lowest-earning farmers and workers whose lives and livelihoods are increasingly threatened by the consequences of climate change.

Centuries of exploitation of people and the planet by the world’s wealthiest have caused this climate emergency, and caused the extreme global inequality which is leaving millions unable to earn enough to adapt to the rapidly changing weather.

So it’s time our politicians owned up to their responsibilities. Let’s remind them we want do our bit to tackle the climate emergency and we want them to listen to the people most affected by climate change.

Events News Products

7 July 2021 – World Chocolate Day…..

What is World Chocolate Day?
World Chocolate Day is sometimes referred to as International Chocolate Day. It takes place on 7 July every year, and put simply, it’s a celebration of all things chocolate! The event was created in 2009. In some countries around the world, the day is celebrated on different dates. But July 7 was chosen for World Chocolate Day because this day is thought to be around the time that chocolate was introduced to European countries. It quickly became a favourite treat in South Africa and across the world!

Why is World Chocolate Day Celebrated?
World Chocolate Day is all about eating chocolate! It’s a celebration of chocolate creations everywhere. No matter what your favourite brand or kind of chocolate is, anyone can celebrate by treating themselves to a little nibble on 7 July. Think of it like a celebration of chocolate becoming well-known and well-loved around the world. Americans celebrate International Chocolate Day on 13 September, because this was the birthday of Milton Hershey, the founder of the Hershey chocolate company.

What is the history of chocolate?
Chocolate originated in Mexico, where Olmec people grew cacao for the first time. The cacao tree species is thought to be around 100 million years old! Word of mouth tales speak of the Olmecs using cacao to make drinks, but there’s no written evidence of this. Their knowledge was passed to the Ancient Maya, who lived in Mexico and Central America. They transformed chocolate into a spiced drink that was used in special ceremonies.

Cacao became a precious commodity, and later the Aztecs used cacao for trade, even using the seeds as a form of money! Cacao was presented to Christopher Columbus in 1502 as he explored the new world. Initially, he thought that the beans were a new type of almond. The true significance of chocolate wasn’t discovered by the wider world until 1519. It was in this year that Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortez arrived in Central America and saw the Aztec emperor drinking ‘Xocalatl’, which would come to be known as the earliest known hot chocolate.

Ten years later, Cortez set up a cacao plantation for trading and the beans and recipe where transported to Spain, where cinnamon and other spices were added to it along with sugar to make it sweeter. Cacao on its own is very bitter! Chocolate spreads across Europe then, with this first chocolate house opening in London in 1657. Chocolate remains a drink until 1830, when the first moulded chocolate bar was produced.

When you choose Fairtrade chocolate, you know that the farmers and workers who produced the cocoa in it, received an additional Fairtrade Premium on top of the price of their crop which they can invest in their communities and use to fight the effects of climate change.

The price of cocoa beans has slumped in recent years despite high demand, and disease and age are damaging cocoa trees. Young people are increasingly reluctant to choose cocoa farming as a career, because the pay and rewards are so limited for what is a very labour intensive job.

Fairtrade cocoa farmers in places like Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are guaranteed the Fairtrade minimum price for their crop, plus an additional Fairtrade Premium. It means they are more likely to be able to cover household costs like education, food and healthcare and invest the extra Premium to benefit the wider community, such as buying hospital and school equipment.

 

Products

HONEST Value Co-op Fairtrade Instant Coffee

Co-op are proud to champion Fairtrade and sell Fairtrade products conveniently, so that you can make a difference every time you shop with the Co-op.

Co-op Fairtrade Coffee

Buying Fairtrade means you’re making a difference. By choosing this product, you’re helping to bring a meaningful difference to Fairtrade producers and their communities, whilst protecting the environment.

Events

Fairtrade Steering Group AGM

Our AGM will take place on Thursday 20th May at 6.30 pm,  in the Writing Room upstairs at Moores Hotel and a table is booked for dinner afterwards at JB Parker’s. As usual, both the AGM and the dinner are open to partners, friends and other interested parties.

Events Resources

Wave Of Hope for Climate Crisis

It’s so important our Fairtrade community speaks up in conversations about how to tackle the climate crisis.

Because the people behind our foods and goods can and must be part of building the fairer, greener, low-carbon world we all want.

But centuries of unfair trade means governments and businesses in countries like the UK need to make major financial commitments now, so farmers and workers can earn enough to take on the climate crisis they face, and build a sustainable future for their communities.

As hosts of the G7 summit in June and the COP 26 climate summit this Autumn, the UK has the chance to lead the world this year. To convince the world’s wealthiest nations that it’s time to take responsibility for the climate crisis they have largely caused, and that those farmers and workers living with the consequences of climate change must have the power to shape a better future.

Wave-Of-Hope-Supporter-Toolkit

News Products

BUMPER COFFEE HARVEST FOR WORST HIT REGION


It is estimated that 125 million people depend on coffee for their livelihood, from the farmers, to those in transportation, as well as roasters and retailers. Baristas and coffee shops were some of the first to close the doors when lockdown began. Despite this challenging environment, coffee lovers have still sourced their favourite drink, due largely to the resilience of coffee producers and the supply chain. Consumer purchasing of coffee remains buoyant – already the number one e-commerce grocery product before the pandemic – the growing trend for online coffee subscriptions is key to this success.

Latin America has faced many challenges in the wake of Covid-19; reported at one point to be one of the worst hit regions in the world. The coffee growing countries of Honduras and Peru were impacted by severe lockdown restrictions, which affected the entire production process. However, despite this, many farmers reported a bumper harvest, surpassing expectations. Nevertheless, the volatility of global coffee prices continues due to uncertainty in the market, with ongoing speculation about supply and demand. We caught up with our regional team to understand more about the opportunities and challenges currently facing co-operatives and communities.

Lending Manager for Central America, Marco Garcia, said: “During the first wave of Covid-19, the major issue for our customers proved to be buyers cancelling or postponing contracts, due to the uncertain demand caused by lockdown. With the exception of Nicaragua (where the government did not impose restrictions), a general challenge for our producers was to maintain operations, with travel restrictions affecting export. For the current season, we expect a less complicated scenario, since buyers and farmers have made adjustments so they can continue to trade.”

The high altitude and rich soils of the Copán region of Honduras, are perfect for coffee growing and farmers here produce some of the highest quality beans in Central America. In 2014, a group of 25 farmers came together with the ambition to export this premium quality coffee to customers worldwide. They became known as Cafescor, and since then they have grown their membership to over 400 coffee farmers. In 2019, they became a Shared Interest customer and began to focus their efforts on enhancing the quality of their coffee even further, and as a result, improving the quality of life for farmers.

General Manager of Cafescor, Herminio Perdomo, said: “Shared Interest finance allows Cafescor to continue supporting farmers with timely payments for their produce.”

We asked Hermino about the impact Covid-19 has had on the co-operative. He said: “During 2020, the general population had to respect strict travel restrictions that allowed each citizen to work only one day out of five, based on their national ID number. Therefore, staff attended the production plant on a rotation basis for some months. In addition, coffee co-operatives in Honduras had to request a special working permit that allowed the operation of the production facility and the transport of some staff members to the premises. In 2021, the government has not requested this special permit anymore. We have adapted our operations to continue with production plans. To date, we have gathered 90% of the forecasted volume for the ongoing cycle thanks to good planning.”