How climate change is affecting Fairtrade farmers

Fairtrade fortnight has arrived and it’s the perfect time to get involved with our campaign and speak out for justice in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities.

Farmers work tirelessly to grow our food while also living in some of the poorest countries in the world and often being exploited and badly paid. On top of all that, another issue is affecting the farmers – climate change.

Fairtrade ensures the world’s poorest growers and producers are able to earn a decent living and earn a premium they can put back into their communities, which becomes a challenge when climate change comes into the picture. Many crops are being lost and farmers are struggling to adapt to climate change which is damaging their livelihoods and well-being. These people living in rural areas have contributed very little to climate change but they’re the ones being affected the most.

Aileen Burmeister, National Coordinator for Fair Trade Wales said:

“Farmers and workers are paying the price twice over for our demands for cheap goods. Firstly, by not being paid fairly for their hard work, and secondly through uncertainty in their future due to climate change.”

One of the most sold Fairtrade products is coffee – which also happens to be the most sensitive to changes in temperature. The smallest change in temperature can mean that these coffee bushes struggle to survive. It is predicted that the areas suitable for coffee production will decrease considerably by 2020 in significant coffee-producing countries such as Brazil, Uganda and Vietnam and the global demand for coffee is set to rise.

Additionally, cocoa farmers are faced with a difficult task as it is one of the hardest crops to grow. It is a delicate crop that must be protected from wind, sun, pests, and disease.  This becomes increasingly difficult as climate change worsens. During Fairtrade fortnight, a campaign is running to ensure Cocoa farmers are being paid the £1.86 per day that they need in order to achieve a living income. The cocoa farmers, many being women who also look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, often earn only 74p per day.

Aileen explained how Fairtrade are trying help farmers maintain their livelihood, she said:

“Through the minimum price and extra premium Fairtrade offers, Fairtrade producers are more able to prepare for the impact of climate effects. For example, producers have chosen to invest their premiums in crop diversification, reforestation, conservation, switching to organic farming methods, training and more.”

It is important to spread the awareness about changing the food we buy and choosing products from Fairtrade companies which will not only help tackle poverty overseas but also help Fairtrade farmers adapt to climate change and shape healthy supply chains for years to come.

Help make a difference to the livelihood and well-being of farmers overseas by purchasing Fairtrade chocolate or coffee.

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! Meet Fr John Joseph at St Helen’s, Caerphilly on Sunday 11 March

We are in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight!  (26 February – 11 March)
So what exactly is Fairtrade?
Well it’s about choosing products that change lives.
Their mission statement is:
We want a world in which justice & sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
To achieve this vision, Fairtrade seeks to transform trading structures and practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged.
It’s still a shocking fact that millions of farmers and workers who produce the food we love, still don’t earn enough money to feed their own families.
Fairtrade Fortnight shines a spotlight on trade.
When we reach for our favourite food and drink every day without ever thinking where it comes from, we become part of the problem.  We may be feeding exploitation.
When you choose Fairtrade you are helping to make sure that the person who grew the banana you are eating or the coffee beans used to make your favourite cuppa, was paid fairly for their work.
There are over 1.65 million farmers and workers across more than 74 countries participating in Fairtrade.  Find out more about them here.
Watch the short film about Pablo, the Super Banana… it’s designed for young primary school children – but I learned a lot about Fairtrade too!
Watch the film Make Bananas Fair to discover more about Foncho, a banana farmer from Colombia and see how Fairtrade makes a real difference to the lives of Foncho, his family and their community.
It’s only 3 minutes long!  “Make Bananas Fair”
So why does CAFOD support Fairtrade?
Because CAFOD founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992 with Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

We believe we are all part of the global food system – which means we have the power to change it.

Changing the food we buy and choosing products from Fairtrade companies is one of the ways we can help tackle poverty.  Learn more about CAFOD and Fairtrade.

Why not consider asking your parish to become a Fairtrade parish? 

And let’s not forget that Cardiff is the first Fairtrade capital city in the world!

With over 1500 Fairtrade towns and cities across the world, Cardiffians should be proud of this title which demonstrates that you’re capable of green, ethical living with fair outcomes for all.

If you are holding a coffee morning, Fairtrade stall or event, we’d love to hear from you.  Please send us a couple of sentences about your event and a photo, if you can, and we can tweet or add our support on Facebook.

Fairtrade Wales has organised a visit of their partner, Fr John Joseph on Sunday, 11 March at St Helen’s, Caerphilly. He will be at the 10.30 am. Mass.

Fr John Joseph is Chairman of the WOFFA Co-operative in India and is touring wales between 4-11 March.

Fr John founded WOFFA in 2008 with 400 small-scale farmers in the rural Wayanad region of Kerala, India, known for its panoramic views and the diversity of indigenous tribal communities.

The association arose out of the need to organise, gain knowledge and tackle social, economic and environmental challenges facing farming families.

Under his leadership, WOFFA has grown to almost 8,000 registered members – all certified Fairtrade and organic farmers – who are organised under 450 village groups. It is now the biggest organic and Fairtrade producer organisation in India.

 

Fairtrade Fortnight

fairtradeWales is a Fairtrade country.  Indeed was the first Fairtrade nation in the world! Now that’s something to shout about…

This year Fairtrade Fortnight runs from Monday 27 February until Sunday 12 March.

The food on our tables, the tea and coffee in our mugs, all come from farmers around the world who toil, sweat and slog.

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