January 17th, known as 'Blue Monday' is the perfect time to get together with someone - a friend, an acquaintance, a complete stranger, and share a conversation. The best way to face our days, good and bad, is together.
We’re right in the middle of 2020’s Fairtrade Fortnight. The two-week campaign takes place between the 24th February and 8th March.
What is Fairtrade Fortnight?
For two weeks each year thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together. They come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food , our drinks and the cotton to produce our clothes. However, these people are often exploited and underpaid for the rest of the world to purchase our goods as cheaply as possible.
What is Fairtrade?
The Fairtrade Foundation describe Fairtrade as… “Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world”.
Fairtrade and Fairtrade Fortnight is all about requiring manufacturing companies to pay sustainable prices for the raw goods they purchase. In doing so Fairtrade addresses “the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest produces”.
Above all, sustainable prices enable the producers to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
The 2020 Fairtrade Fortnight campaign is called She Deserves Fairtrade. 21% of all farmers and workers in Fairtrade are women. The 2020 campaign is centred around cocoa farmers and the call for cocoa farmers to earn a living incoming.
On average a cocoa farmer in Ghana, (where 60% of all cocoa is grown), earns just 75p a day. The living incoming should be around £1.96 a day. By earning the living income a farmer will be able to:
- Eat nutritiously throughout the year,
- Drink safe water,Fairtrade Fortnight 2020
- Access Healthcare,
- Send children to school,
- Live in a decent home,
- Save for unexpected setbacks,
- And allow older people to retire with dignity.
A living income will also provide farmers with access to the Fairtrade standards.
Price: Setting a minimum price which drives change and provides farmers and workers with a safety net from having to sell their crops at a low unsustainable price.
Premium: On top of the price farmers and workers receive for their crops, they receive an extra sum of money (Fairtrade Premium) to invest in improving the quality of their lives. Cocoa farmers receive an extra $200 per tonne of cocoa beans they sell to use in their community to improve the lives of everyone living there.
Women’s empowerment: Fairtrade supports more women cocoa farmers to take the lead on the cocoa farms alongside men. The Fairtrade Foundation works to ensure that women have a voice in their community. Are represented in the decision-making process. As a result everyone benefits from the Fairtrade campaign.
Environment: Fairtrade also works to protect the wider environment. While you can’t protect the planet without protecting its people first, Fairtrade Standards support farmers to protect the environment. Alongside this work the Fairtrade Premium also allows farmers to invest in adapting to the changing climate.
Why should I buy Fairtrade?
Let’s break it down into the four key benefits of buying Fairtrade products:
- Fairer Trade – Fairtrade offer a minimum price to producers. Meaning the farmer receives a fair price for the product. Which should mean they won’t slip into or further into poverty or even make a loss on each product sold.
- Environment – The Fairtrade stands set out criteria that farmers must adhere to including banning the use of GMOs, minimise the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and to reduce water use as much as possible.
- Workers’ rights – Fairtrade standards include the right to collective bargaining by workers as well non-discrimination and freedom of association (an individual’s right to join or leave groups voluntarily and the right of the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members)
- Social – The Fairtrade standard includes a premium. The premium allows workers to invest in local projects and infrastructure. Projects funded by the premium have included sanitation, schools and local medical facilities.
In conclusion, by buying Fairtrade you help the workers, their community and the wider environment.
Get Fairtrade baking… download the Fairtrade Foundation Recipe book.
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