FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 2022 TO SHINE THE SPOTLIGHT ON WHY FARMERS NEED CASH TO FIGHT THE EVER-INCREASING THREAT OF CLIMATE CRISISPosted on 21st December 2021
FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 2022 (21ST FEBRUARY – 6TH MARCH) will be a show of solidarity with those on the frontline of the climate crisis. COP26 didn’t deliver the change needed to stay within 1.5, nor did it secure finance to directly support farmers and workers on the frontline, but the Fairtrade Foundation believes there is hope if we all act together.
Fairtrade Fortnight is an opportunity for individuals, communities, and businesses around country to stand with farmers in low-income countries like Honduras and Uganda who are impacted daily by climate change. Together, by keeping the pressure on government and businesses, we can all ensure farmers benefit from fairer prices, fairer trading practices and the resources needed for tackling the climate emergency.
Fairtrade’s Choose the World You Want Festival will return for a second year and features a series of virtual events designed to engage, inform and educate people around the urgent message of Fairtrade and climate change, the future of our food and those who produce it. The online initiative will bring the movement together and feature panel discussions, performances, workshops and collaborations between the Fairtrade Foundation and retailers, chefs and high-profile names in the world of food and sustainability.
The climate crisis is the biggest threat to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers in low-income countries worldwide. Without a fairer income, farmers and workers are unable to invest in the types of mitigation and adaptation techniques needed to protect the environment, and their businesses. This represents a vicious cycle of poverty in which steps towards environmental protection and decarbonisation are likely to be beyond the reach for those who aren’t even able to earn a living income because the price they receive for their produce is far too low. COP26 fell short of what farmers and workers need but together we can still make a difference.
Nilufar Verjee, Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: ‘We are all facing an existential planetary threat and politicians are still not moving fast enough to stand a chance of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees. Current levels of global heating are already disastrous for the farmers and workers who grow our food – they need the cash to adapt to new ways of farming. The life support is that we have another chance with COP27 in 2022 for world leaders to tackle the climate crisis and secure finance, fast.
‘Poverty and environmental damage in our food supply chains will not end until exploited farmers are paid fairly, have the power to make their own choices and to plan for the future. Only then will they be able to effectively fight the impacts of the climate crisis. This also matters to UK conscious consumers and businesses. Climate change, and the ability of farmers to grow their produce, is also threatening the survival and sustainability of supply chains behind some of the UK’s best-loved imports, such as coffee, cocoa and bananas.’
Mr Kouamé N’dri Benjamin-Francklin, a cocoa farmer from Côte D’Ivoire and Fairtrade Africa vice-chair board member, says financial support is a vital element of ensuring that farmers in low income nations have the tools they need to tackle the increasingly destructive impacts of the climate crisis: ‘If we carry on planting when we have always done before, when there is no rain and it is so hot, whatever we try to grow is destroyed. Then there is nothing to harvest. That has been happening now for years and production has massively decreased. Because of that, our incomes have massively decreased.
Mr Kouamé who attended COP26 as part of Fairtrade’s farmer delegation added: ‘What is more, the little that we can sell isn’t paid at the price it should be paid. For example, take cocoa. Cocoa farmers only earn 3% of the price of a chocolate bar. As a person responsible for farmers, it is really sad […] Being a farmer shouldn’t be a route to poverty.’
Each year, thousands of schools, organisations and communities nationwide play a key role in promoting Fairtrade Fortnight through their own campaigns, events and materials, in order to help raise awareness of the link between trade and poverty. The Fairtrade Foundation hopes people will engage with Fairtrade Fortnight once again this year, as part of their ongoing efforts to protect people and planet.
As valued members of the Fairtrade movement, thousands of Fairtrade towns, villages, schools and churches are proud to use Fairtrade products, including tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits, and to supporting Fairtrade as a key solution for making trade fairer for those in lower-income countries.
Fairtrade is committed to fighting the climate crisis. Fairtrade Standards encourage producers to protect the environment by improving soil, planting trees, conserving water and avoiding pesticides, while Fairtrade’s programmes include climate academies for farmers to share best practice. At the same time, Fairtrade makes training available to producers so that they can use the latest agricultural methods, such as intercropping and shade-grown coffee to adapt to conditions.
Join us this Fairtrade Fortnight and choose to act for climate justice. To find out more about how to take part in 2022, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight
The Guernsey Chamber of Commerce has just signed up to the island’s Fair Trade initiative and is proudly offering a range of Fairtrade drinks and snacks which help this hugely important organisation.
A Fairtrade awareness lunch and discussion was held at the end of November and the organisation has committed to supporting Fairtrade for the foreseeable future. www.guernseychamber.com/-/choose-the-world-you-want/
13 November, 2021
Responding to the final communique of the COP26 summit, Fairtrade’s Head of Delegation for COP26 and Kenyan flower farmer, Mary Kinyua, said:
“This COP’s outcome is in many ways a cop out, a frustrating conclusion to this summit filled with hope that we would see a start to the healing of our world.
“As farmers ourselves, representing 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers across the world already living with the devastating realities of climate change, we came to Glasgow in good faith, hoping our world leaders would listen to our voices and keep their promises. Our message – of ensuring the planet temperature rise remains within 1.5 degrees and that the costs of addressing a changing climate would not be unfairly placed on those of us who did the least to cause it – could not have been clearer.
“It is hard to understand why the prospect of a 2.4 degree temperature rise has not driven world governments to deliver on the promises made in Paris. It is hard to understand why the climate finance promise of $100 billion per year is still outstanding. It is painful to see that no commitment at all has been made to pay for the unavoidable loss and damage faced by our communities.
“Of course we have seen some welcome moves. The speed at which our climate is changing makes it vital that governments will be asked to raise their commitments again in Cairo next year, rather than waiting for another five years. Promises on deforestation are critical for millions like me for whom farming is a way of life, and the announcement of a ‘Just Rural Transition Fund’ is an encouraging move. The key will be ensuring these new funds are delivered as promised, and that they actually reach farmers and our communities in low-income countries, and reaches them swiftly.
“Fairtrade farmers and citizens of the global Fairtrade movement will not let this stand. We are already working to tackle the climate crisis on the frontline in our communities, with the knowledge and love of the land that we have as farmers. And we know that there are Fairtrade buyers and businesses and supporters who will stand with us, working alongside us day to day to do what we can and calling for action until promises are finally kept. We are doing our part, it’s time for the leaders to do theirs.”
Mary Kinyua is a Fairtrade flower farmer from Kenya. She is the Fairtrade International board representative to COP26, and represented Fairtrade International on the UK CSO & Youth Advisory Council, convened by Alok Sharma MP as part of the preparations for COP26.
ENDS: For more information contact Tomilola Ajayi: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Fairtrade – Fairtrade changes the way trade works by putting farmers and workers first. That means better prices, decent working conditions and more trade power for small-scale producers. Leading by example, Fairtrade has producers represented in 50% of its governance. Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organization representing 1.8 million farmers and workers worldwide. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark appearing on more than 30,000 products, which is the most recognized and trusted sustainability label in the world. Fairtrade International and its member organisations collaborate with businesses, engage shoppers, activate civil society, and enable producers to take control in order to bring about a fair, sustainable future — a future rooted in social justice.
We caught up with three Fairtrade farmers who have been at the COP26 UN Climate Summit throughout
Rachel, Muniraju, Bismark and 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers around the world have led the Be Fair With Your Climate Promise challenge.
We need to keep up the pressure on politicians and business leaders.
Pictured top to bottom: Bismark Kpabitey, a Fairtrade cocoa farmer from Ghana, Rachel Banda, a Fairtrade sugar farmer from Malawi, and Muniraju Shivanna, a Fairtrade sugar farmer in India.
Pressure to keep the promises they make. And where the agreement falls short, we’ll need to double our efforts to convince those in power that there’s no alternative to bold action now.
It has been so important to have Fairtrade farmers like Rachel, Muniraju and Bismark at COP26. Because for them, the climate crisis is a real and immediate threat to their livelihoods – and their communities, in Malawi, India and Ghana respectively.
Bismark says “We, the producers, are already committed on the ground, trying to make things happen… to adapt to the climate issues.”
If politicians at COP26 deliver on their promises to spend more money scaling up projects like the excellent reforestation work Bismark specialises in, farmers like him around the world could do even more to tackle the climate crisis.
A strong, committed global Fairtrade community, led by farmers and workers, is what made it possible for Rachel, Muniraju and Bismark to make their voices heard at COP26. Thank you for being part of that community.
The Business Pledge
Businesses sourcing from Fairtrade farmers see the climate crisis hitting the people in their supply chains disproportionately hard. Increasingly volatile and extreme weather is damaging crops and harming livelihoods in farming communities, making it harder to grow the goods their customers rely on.
This is an emergency. Unless we clamp down hard on global emissions and support farmers in low- and middle-income countries to build resilience, all of us will suffer, from farmers to consumers. Businesses are urging world governments to listen to the voices of farmers – the people who grow our food and other essential goods – as they call for urgent action at COP26. We welcome the open letter from the representatives of 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers across the world and urge governments to respond in full.
Governments must set ambitious, science-based rules and targets that do not allow unscrupulous businesses to ignore the damage they are causing to the planet, and which encourage responsible businesses to do more.
Business too must take a lead. They now commit ourselves to the following action in their international supply chains, and call on other businesses to do likewise.
* We promise to pay fair prices to producers – farmers and workers should not have to choose between tackling poverty and building resilience to the climate crisis. Our Fairtrade commitments are critical to achieving this.
* We promise to be long-term partners with farming communities, listening to the experience of farmers, sharing our expertise and investing in the urgent transitions farmers need. We back a shift in food production and supply, to one that is resilient to the changing climate, including backing nature-based solutions. We will support farmers as we work together to cut the emissions embedded throughout our supply chains.
* We promise to ‘know and show’ our climate impact, by measuring carbon emissions embedded in our supply chains, assessing the climate risks faced at farm level, and publishing the results. We want to raise awareness about the challenges, the practical solutions, and the need for others to raise their game.
* Finally, we promise to speak out, calling in public and private for governments to set and deliver ambitious targets for emissions reductions and climate finance that puts farmers and workers first.
What the Business Pledge is all about
The businesses who are signing the Business Pledge are committing to keep climate justice at the heart of their work. That means paying fairer prices so farmers can take on the climate crisis they see every day. It means being honest about the climate impact of their own business models, and working hard to reduce those impacts.
It also means investing in the expertise of farmers and workers when doing this work, so the burden and cost of adaption to climate change is not just met by farmers and workers on the front line of the climate crisis.
The companies who have signed the pledge are – (deep breath) – Bartlett Mitchell, Ben and Jerry’s, BIDBI, Bewleys, Cafédirect, Coliman, Cru Kafe, Clipper Tea, Co-Op, Cooperative Coffees, Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Gregg’s, Kaladi Coffee Roasters, La Siembra Cooperative, Liberation Nuts, Lofbergs, Matthew Algie, Marks & Spencer, Navitas Organics, Nespresso, Numi Tea, People Tree, WARP Snacks, Tony’s Chocolonely, Quinola and Waitrose and Partners.
As global leaders meet at the COP26 UN climate summit, Fairtrade farmers and workers are calling for urgent action.
Climate change is already severely damaging the lives and livelihoods of farming communities who grow so much of our food. They are on the front line of a worsening crisis they have done the least to cause. And deeply unfair trade means many simply cannot earn enough to adapt to rapid changes in weather.
That’s why 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers are calling on politicians at the COP26 summit to Be Fair with your Climate Promise.
Farmers and workers are challenging leaders at COP26 to invest in the expertise of their communities, who see the realities of the climate crisis every day.
And they are demanding the wealthiest countries start being honest about their own carbon footprints, and work together to create trade deals and laws that encourage investment in the sustainable solutions many Fairtrade farmers are already pioneering.
Fairtrade farmers and workers know that if we don’t speak out now, it will be too late. Will you join them in challenging our politicians to Be fair with the climate promise?
‘Seize this moment, listen to our voices, and ensure that we can continue to feed the world.’
These words end a letter from 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers, addressed to politicians coming to the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow next month. Fairtrade farmers and workers know this is our last, best chance for us to turn a corner on climate change together. We need to tell politicians it’s time to respect these farmers and workers as experts on tackling a climate crisis they see every day. Whole communities’ futures, and many of the Fairtrade products we love, are under immediate threat from climate change. But all around the world Fairtrade farmers and workers are pioneering innovative ways to tackle climate change. From tree planting in Ghana to bio-diversity projects in Guatemala, thousands of Fairtrade farmers are doing amazing work right now to build a more sustainable future. With more money in their hands, they could do so much more.
For years, the world’s wealthiest nations – those most responsible for climate change – have promised to create a $100 billion per year climate investment fund. A fund that could be used by communities in low-income countries feeling the worst effects of climate change. But politicians have failed to keep that promise. And of the funding that has been delivered, only 2 per cent reaches those smallholder farmers living with some of the worst effects of the climate crisis. In Fairtrade farmers and workers’ letter to world leaders, the message is clear: this needs to change,
for the future of their communities, for the future of the crops they grow and for all of us.
It’s time for an end to the generations of exploitation of people and planet. We will not survive the climate crisis unless we deliver what we have promised. Politicians must listen to and respect the expertise, needs and ambitions of farmers. It’s time to get behind Fairtrade farmers and workers demanding a fairer future.
Organic September has just begun and we in Fairtrade are joining with the celebrations.
Because over 50 per cent of Fairtrade farmers are also organic-certified, and the extra earnings Fairtrade can offer makes it easier to invest in eco-friendly organic methods. Our expert Fairtrade Producer Networks also offer support to farmers making the switch.
Why are so many Fairtrade farmers choosing to go organic?
Because by improving soil quality and reducing pollution, organic methods help protect local environments. This so important when many Fairtrade farmers are already feeling the worst effects of climate change.
Also, farmers can frequently earn more for organic produce. It’s win-win!
Please keep looking out for Fairtrade and organic treats this organic September. From teas and coffees to pastas and pillow cases, there’s over 1,000 Fairtrade and organic certified products out there. And each one means a better deal for people and the planet.
‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’ Mahatma Gandhi
Fairtrade supporters in Guernsey will remember the two visits to our island some years ago by Greg Valerio MBE. Greg inspired many of us and opened our eyes to the challenges faced by small scale producers in the artisanal gold mining sector. Yet of even more importance, he showed us from his first hand experience how Fairtrade can be a solution.
In a new initiative, Greg shares the following with us: “Over the years as I have worked as a Fairtrade jeweller and community activist, I have collected the residue of refined gold that has come from the certified Fairtrade Gold mines. This residue, when re-refined, is Fairtrade Silver. What better way to use these kilos of silver, than to create a limited edition ring, profits of which will go directly to the restoration of The Society St Columba’s Celtic Education Centre (Community Education Learning Training and Innovation Centre).
The urgency of tackling the climate chaos that is now enveloping our beautiful world is an urgent CALL TO ACTION. As a jeweller, I witness how large scale mining destroys entire ecosystems and displaces resident communities. I witness small-scale miners using mercury to process gold, oblivious to the toxic impact mercury has to human health and ecosystems. I currently work alongside communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have been devastated by the ongoing mineral funded conflicts of the region. The legacy of ethical jewellery must be greater than just the jewellery itself.
The Society of St Columba at Chanctonbury has a vision for an ecologically biodiverse and sustainable community farm. St Columba’s Farm is all about investing into a model of community-based living here in England. They have taken on a derelict heritage cattle farm and outbuildings and through prayer, work and education have set about restoring the farm, the land and the wildlife to a thriving integrated ecosystem. The Celtic Education Centre is the education hub of this vision.
Education is best served up as an experience, and in a restored centre where school kids, communities groups, and interested parties can come and learn about how we can restore our beautiful local environments and world to their original glory.
Discover more of the work here. An education centre dedicated to truth-telling and practical experiential learning is a legacy worth investing into.
Please visit my website gregvalerio.com/chanctonburyring to buy one of these limited edition rings.”