24th Feb 2022 by Marketing

Fairtrade Fortnight

Farmer

Monday marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges that climate change brings to farmers in the communities Fairtrade works with. The climate emergency is one of the main threats that farmers face and millions of workers around the world who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods are among the worst affected. In support of Fairtrade Fortnight, we highlight some of the key issues they face and how choosing Fairtrade supports farmers facing the climate crisis.


Monday marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges that climate change brings to farmers in the communities Fairtrade works with. The climate emergency is one of the main threats that farmers face and millions of workers around the world who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods are among the worst affected. In support of Fairtrade Fortnight, we highlight some of the key issues they face and how choosing Fairtrade supports farmers facing the climate crisis.

Despite contributing the least to the climate crisis, farmers in developing countries are severely affected by extreme weather, loss of fertile soil and crop diseases. According to research published by the Fairtrade Foundation in 2021, climate change will severely threaten the supply of staples such as coffee, cocoa and bananas over the next few decades[1]. Furthermore, at 1.1 degrees, current levels of global warming are causing communities to suffer hurricanes in Central America, floods and landslides in India, sweeping away people’s homes, destroying entire livelihoods in seconds, while swarms of locusts affect East Africa and extreme drought continues in Southern Africa[2].

Farmers around the world are living in conditions far worse than our own, with fewer resources to adapt to the increasingly negative effects of the climate crisis, yet we are relying on the same farmers to produce the food required for a growing global population. If we fail to change our behaviours and support these farmers, we will all suffer.

How does choosing Fairtrade support farmers facing the climate crisis?

Fairtrade sets social, economic, and environmental standards for the companies and farmers involved in the supply chain to reduce the workers' poverty and exploitation. Very little of the money that consumers pay for products goes to the farmers and workers who produce or grow the item. Fairtrade shortens the trade chain and determines payments that consider what the producer's needs are and creates a living wage for the farmer that can more realistically support them and their families. More money in the hands of farmers is needed if they are to adapt and survive the climate crisis. That means that as consumers, choosing Fairtrade products is one way we can start to address the inequality at the centre of the climate crisis and help fight for improvements in producers’ livelihoods.

Here at MASECO, we support the Fairtrade movement by ensuring any products we purchase for the office are Fairtrade, where possible. This includes the fresh fruit supplied in the office every week, tea and coffee, and any ingredients or produce for events celebrated internally, such as Pancake Day next week. We also look to use businesses that support the Fairtrade movement wherever we can, for example we chose to donate any unwanted items found when clearing out the office to TRAID, a charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. TRAID partnered with the Fairtrade Foundation to help small producers in India to be able to comply with, and maintain, the Fairtrade Mark. The project aimed to bring improved factories together with Fairtrade businesses to source quality products in desired volumes and create mutually beneficial partnerships[3].

[1] https://www.fairtrade.net/library/fairtrade-and-climate-change-systematic-review-hotspot-analysis-and-survey
[2] https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/resources-library/current-campaigns/
[3] https://www.traid.org.uk/projects/fairtrade-textile-factories/

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