By Santana Luis, Westminster Justice & Peace Contact for St Mary’s Parish, Hampstead, London
This Monday marked the start of Fairtrade Fortnight (21st February – 6th March.) This year, the focus of Fairtrade Fortnight is climate change, and the growing problems this poses to farmers and workers within the Fairtrade community.
Events round London
As well as the online ‘Choose the World you Want’ Festival, there will be some ‘real life’ events around the capital city.
Friday 25th February, 7:30–9:30am – East Croydon Station, Campaigners will be distributing leaflets and Fairtrade bananas at
Friday 25th February, 3.00-6.00pm – Fairtrade London will be leading a history walk through the City. https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/fairtrade/events/fairtrade-london-history-walk/
Sunday 27th February, 11:30am-12.30pm– Hampstead Parish Church will be holding a Big Brew, with a Traidcraft stall, cakes, games and a raffle. http://www.stmaryshampstead.com/
Friday 4th March, 12pm-2pm – Fairtrade Afternoon Tea at Chef’s Restaurant, Croydon College, CR9 1DX. Book here!
Friday 4th March, 6pm – Zaytoun are taking part in an evening of inspiration and insight about Fairtrade and sustainability at P21 Gallery near Kings Cross. Book here.
How is climate change affecting the farmers that grow our food? What does that mean for all of us and how we can all help?
The threat to the future of many supply chains is very real and our planet’s farmers and agricultural workers are on the frontline of this global climate crisis. We must do everything to ensure they are not left behind and that they are indeed a part of the solution.
Dramatic weather patterns spurred by climate change will likely deliver severe blows to agricultural production in key regions around the world, from Latin America to the Asia-Pacific. Banana producers in the Caribbean and in Central America, for instance, are expected to face less rainfall and more extreme temperatures, while those in Southeast Asia and Oceania will see an increased risk of tropical cyclones. For their part, coffee producers in Brazil, Central America and South India could soon encounter temperature spikes combined with drought, directly impacting Fairtrade coffee production. Meanwhile, in the Dominican Republic and Peru, as well as in parts of West Africa, cocoa farmers are likely to encounter more hot and dry weather periods, while their counterparts in eastern Ghana and northern Côte d’Ivoire may face heavier rains.
Other Fairtrade products are at risk too. Sugarcane producers in Southeast Asia may face increasing drought and heat stress. Similar conditions could soon afflict tea production in Asia and Africa as well, with producers across Asia and in Malawi and Tanzania predicted to be most severely impacted.
The Fairtrade and Climate Change Report, October 2021, produced by researchers from The Vrije University Amsterdam and Bern University of Applied Sciences, ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP26, points to the need for the international community to financially support farmers in adapting to climate change through context-specific approaches, ranging from agroforestry and improved shade tree management to mulching and crop diversification.
There are millions of people around the world who are working hard to grow the world’s food, earn a living, and protect the planet. But too often, unfair trade denies whole communities the chance to earn enough for essentials like medical care and decent food. So they can’t afford to adapt to the extreme weather climate change is already bringing.
That’s why it’s time to choose something better – it’s time to choose the world we want. This Fairtrade Fortnight, let’s celebrate the great work of farmers taking on the climate crisis.
And let’s take this chance stand with them by choosing Fairtrade, and speaking up about the chance we all have to build a fairer future. E.g Supporting Traidcraft
A few months ago, we were demanding a Fair Climate Promise at COP26. Over 33,000 campaigners joined 1.8m Fairtrade farmers and workers in backing the ‘Be Fair With Your Climate Promise’ challenge to world leaders at the UN COP26 summit.
And although the COP26 agreement should have gone much further, it did include vital promises to deliver important funding for farmers on the front-line of the climate crisis. Four months on from those promises, and as we prepare for Fairtrade Fortnight, it’s time for action.
The 1.7 million Fairtrade farmers only make up a fraction of the planet’s 500 million smallholder farmers, so we need to make sure that adequate funding for climate adaptation and best practices in fair trade are available to all.
The expertise of small-scale farmers is such a valuable tool in the fight against the climate crisis.
So let’s ask our MPs to do the right thing. Tell your representative to make sure that promised funding ends up in the hands of the real world leaders in taking on the climate crisis – the farmers and workers living with climate change every day.
Choose the World you Want Online Festival: www.fairtrade.org.uk/choose-the-world-you-want/