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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.

 

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.”

 

 

Featured News

Climate Crisis and Fairtrade Farmers…..

Fairtrade farmers are among the people who have contributed the least to climate crisis – but are already feeling the worst effects. 17 people from Cote d’Ivoire have the same carbon footprint as one person in the UK, but studies have shown that Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change.

But across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania, it is small-scale farmers who are often feeling the worst effects of climate breakdown. This is because they are less likely to earn a living income due to exploitative global trade and more likely to rely directly on the land they farm for their livelihoods. Climate change is making it harder to farm the land productively, while rigged trade systems which favour the powerful leave farmers unable to earn enough to adapt to the rapidly changing climate.

Ebrottié Tanoh Florentin, a cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire, talks about what climate change means for cocoa farming communities in West Africa. ‘Climate change is a global issue. We, the farmers, have to deal with its consequences every day. For instance, this year we lacked food because of the heat. The production decreased this year too, so this affects the economy. People harvested less and received less money. So we all suffer from the negative consequences of the climate: it impacts the environment and our economy.’

Read three more stories of Fairtrade farmers taking on the climate crisis.

News Products

Lets make this Easter Eggstra Special…..

Around 80m of these Easter goodies fly off UK shelves around this time of year, and so let’s egg on our friends and family to go Fairtrade for their seasonal chocolatey treat.

Because more of us choosing Fairtrade means more power and more pay in the hands of the hard-working cocoa farmers behind those Easter eggs.

And that means whole communities with more control over their future, and with more resources to build better lives and take on the climate crisis.

So let’s share the good news that this Easter it’s extra easy to take a bite in the right direction!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0yr07ew6TY

Bengaly Bourama portrait next to sacks of cocoa beans

“WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BUILD A SCHOOL, ACCOMMODATION FOR THE TEACHERS OF THE SCHOOL, WE HAVE RENOVATED THE HOSPITAL, WE HAVE GIVEN AN AMBULANCE TO THE HOSPITAL, ALL OF THIS WITH THE FAIRTRADE PREMIUM. AND WE HAVE A PROJECT TO BUILD THE HEADQUARTERS THAT THE CO-OPERATIVE DESERVES BY THE END OF THE YEAR. WITHOUT FAIRTRADE WE WOULDN’T BE IN THIS POSITION.”

BENGALY BOURAMA, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COOBADI CO-OPERATIVE IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE

About us News

FAIRTRADE GUERNSEY ANNOUNCES NEW PATRON

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.

 

Events Fairtrade Fortnight News

For the latest news from Fairtrade Guernsey…….

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

https://www.facebook.com/FairtradeGuernsey

…..and our Annual Fairtrade Quiz will hopefully be held this Autumn.