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Just announced – Exciting news from Mars and Fairtrade…..

18 June 2022

Mars, Fairtrade and ECOOKIM – a collection of cocoa farming co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire – announced plans to deepen their partnership, through an innovative $10m programme to raise farmer incomes. This programme is novel, experimental and ambitious – it’s also urgently needed.

Fairtrade first started working together with ECOOKIM farmers and Mars over two years ago, to identify the most effective ways to raise cocoa farmers’ incomes and help farming households thrive. Farmers themselves know better than anyone else both the challenges they face – such as climate change and long-term low prices – as well as the sorts of solutions that can best tackle these challenges.

As a collective of several cocoa farming co-operatives, ECOOKIM have been perfectly placed to represent the needs, views and experiences of their members in this context. It’s why I’m delighted that they have strongly contributed to the design of the new Livelihoods Ecosystem Advancement Programme (LEAP) – an innovative five-year partnership between Fairtrade, Mars Wrigley and ECOOKIM, which is centred around farmers’ voices and engagement at all levels.

It’s vital that farmers are actively involved in shaping, owning and implementing programmes that affect their lives and livelihoods. By working so closely with ECOOKIM the programme has been designed with the needs of cocoa farmers in mind.

Mike Gidney, Chief Executive, Fairtrade Foundation, said: ‘We believe that all farmers should get the incomes their hard work deserves, and we know new approaches are needed. By investing in strengthening cocoa co-operatives, widening access to finance, and supporting farmers in diversifying their incomes, together, we hope to achieve deeper impact for farming households.’

 

News Products

Guylian FAIRTRADE Chocolates

Did you notice something new about your box of Guylian chocolates? It now carries the blue and green Fairtrade logo!
That’s because Guylian has decided to switch to 100 percent Fairtrade cocoa.
When you choose Fairtrade, you choose fairer incomes, education, empowerment and training to help cocoa farmers adapt to climate change.
Learn more: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/…/guylian-switches-to-100…/#ChooseFairtrade

News Supporters

Guernsey Weigh sign up as supporters of Fairtrade

The Guernsey Weigh are delighted to have been presented with a certificate of recognition for commitment to Fairtrade.

Since 2005, Fairtrade Guernsey has called on our local community to help bring about positive change for millions of farmers and workers in developing countries, asking shoppers and businesses to choose products that change lives and reminding everyone of the dramatic difference Fairtrade makes.

At the Guernsey Weigh, we want to encourage you to choose Fairtrade when you shop, and that’s why we sell products that improve the lives of farmers and workers. Fairtrade is about better prices, safe working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.

Choose Fairtrade, and shop at The Guernsey Weigh!

https://www.theguernseyweigh.gg

News

Exciting news for Cocoa farming co-operatives

Mars, Fairtrade and ECOOKIM – a collection of cocoa farming co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire – have just announced plans to deepen their partnership, through an innovative $10m programme to raise farmer incomes. This programme is novel, experimental and ambitious – it’s also urgently needed. Taryn Holland, Head of Programmes at Fairtrade Foundation, picks out three elements of this partnership to look out for.

For more information go to:

https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/media-centre/blog/three-reasons-mars-leap-is-exciting/

1. FARMERS ARE AT THE HEART OF OUR WORK TOGETHER
Fairtrade first started working together with ECOOKIM farmers and Mars over two years ago, to identify the most effective ways to raise cocoa farmers’ incomes and help farming households thrive. Farmers themselves know better than anyone else both the challenges they face – such as climate change and long-term low prices – as well as the sorts of solutions that can best tackle these challenges.

As a collective of several cocoa farming co-operatives, ECOOKIM have been perfectly placed to represent the needs, views and experiences of their members in this context. It’s why I’m delighted that they have strongly contributed to the design of the new Livelihoods Ecosystem Advancement Programme (LEAP) – an innovative five-year partnership between Fairtrade, Mars Wrigley and ECOOKIM, which is centred around farmers’ voices and engagement at all levels.

It’s vital that farmers are actively involved in shaping, owning and implementing programmes that affect their lives and livelihoods. By working so closely with ECOOKIM the programme has been designed with the needs of cocoa farmers in mind: farmers like Mile and Digbeu.

Mile is 62 years old, and grows around two tonnes of cocoa per year, supplemented by maize, chilis and cassava four. She’s a widow with five children and has a house to run, alongside farming. She is determined, experienced and organised, but time poor.

By contrast, Digbeu has a large family farm that grows five tonnes of cocoa per year, but generates less income beyond cocoa farming. He has also experienced issues with maintaining the crops on his farm, in the face of climate change.

Because no two farmers are the same, the LEAP approach will support different types of farmers with tailored packages to move towards a living income, regardless of their starting position. This means developing bespoke support for farming families depending on individual farm size, productivity levels, and income earned from beyond cocoa farming. We want to meet farmers like Mile and Digbeu where they’re at, rather than providing one-size-fits-all solutions.

2. BUILDING ON FAIRTRADE SOURCING
Mars have been sourcing Fairtrade certified cocoa from ECOOKIM for many years, with products in the UK including Maltesers and Mars bars proudly bearing the Fairtrade Mark. Mars will continue to source cocoa on Fairtrade terms from ECOOKIM, and make additional investments that help improve farmer incomes even further over the long term.

LEAP has been designed as a ‘market-systems’ programme. The programme will tackle barriers that prevent farmer incomes from growing, investing into the wider ‘market ecosystem’ within which they operate, and improving the business services and supporting functions they can choose to access over time.

In practical terms, we’ll be focusing investment into strengthening the capacity of ECOOKIM and participating co-operatives to provide their members with best-in-class technical support, as well as good value agricultural resources such as fertiliser to improve farm performance. We will also be investing in digital solutions to improve farmers’ access to finance, as well as exploring ways which incomes, beyond cocoa, can be advanced both on and beyond the farm.

3. SHARING AND EMBRACING LESSONS
LEAP is deliberately dynamic, meaning that we’ll look to adjust our approach in line with evidence of impact and farmer feedback. We will look to make changes in real-time, sharing what we’re learning with peers in the sector as we go, and incorporating good practice from elsewhere, based on evidence of success. By sharing the lessons along the way, we’ll raise visibility of both the challenges confronted and evidence of successes that can be scaled to other farming households over time.

Just as no two farmers are the same, no two partnerships are the same either.

Having worked with ECOOKIM and Mars for the last two years to pull together our farmer-centric approach to improving incomes, we’re so excited to finally get started together.

A female farming leader at the forefront of the programme, Aminata Bamba, Head of Sustainability for Fairtrade co-operative ECOOKIM, said: ’For us, Fairtrade is not just a certification, it means so much more for farmers. Fairtrade helps pull producers out of poverty. It means a woman can flourish because she knows her rights, she can earn extra money to support the family and pay for school fees, she can buy medicines when her child is sick. All the changes we’ve made are thanks to the Fairtrade Premium, so it’s important that consumers continue to enjoy Fairtrade chocolate. We’re so excited to announce the next steps in our journey with Fairtrade and Mars.’

Mike Gidney, Chief Executive, Fairtrade Foundation, said: ‘We believe that all farmers should get the incomes their hard work deserves, and we know new approaches are needed. By investing in strengthening cocoa co-operatives, widening access to finance, and supporting farmers in diversifying their incomes, together, we hope to achieve deeper impact for farming households.’

 

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

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 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