03.08.20

Fairtrade: make your positive mark for people and the planet

By Gabriela Hrutkaiova

Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual campaign organised by Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand. This year the campaign from 7-20 August highlights the unique and simple difference we can all make on people and the planet by choosing Fairtrade. 

What is Fairtrade?

We want a fair deal for farmers and we care about our planet’s future. That’s why we choose Fairtrade. Fairtrade is about empowering farmers and workers in developing countries to get a better deal, through fairer prices, decent working conditions and favourable terms of trade.

Each August, during Fairtrade Fortnight, we celebrate the positive mark that is made on families and communities when products carrying the Fairtrade Mark are created and purchased.

By providing Fairtrade products, we’re choosing to give people a fair deal because the ingredients are purchased by paying at least a Fairtrade Minimum Price, set to cover the sustainable cost of production, or the market price when it’s higher.

Over and above the price, the Fairtrade Premium is also paid. The Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit – to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.

It’s what sets Fairtrade apart from everyone else and why we are proud of the impact we make together.

How we make a positive impact on people and the planet

Here are just two examples of Fairtrade empowering farmers and workers and taking care of the planet. There are hundreds more behind each of our products with the Fairtrade Mark. We are proud to support people like Julienne and Victor around the world.

People

Around 60-80 percent of the world’s food is grown by women. Yet they often don’t own the land and see little of the profit made from it. Fairtrade works to address this gender gap.

Fairtrade set up the Women’s School of Leadership, in Cote D’Ivoire, to support female farmers to generate more income through smarter farming, and give them the confidence and skills to set up businesses and be leaders in the Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperatives that they are part of and in their local communities.

The programme launched in May 2017 and the first group of 19 women and 3 men joined the school. Men are also students on the course, working to become gender champions and help spread the word in communities of the benefits of equality and how women can positively contribute to the local economy.

“Through my participation in the School, everything changed. I realized how much I could do for my cooperative, my community and my personal projects. For me, Fairtrade is a label which fights for the well being of the producers, a movement that gives producers the opportunity to decide their own futures. It is also a system where the producers are, at the same time, Beneficiaries and owners.” Julienne Assoko producer, Cooperative Capressa.

Fairtrade is helping to challenge the gender gap, enabling women to stake their claim and succeed on their own terms.

Fairtrade Standards are designed to prevent gender inequality, increase female participation and empower more women and girls to access the benefits of Fairtrade.

Farmers are on the front line of climate change. For millions of farming families and communities worldwide the impacts of climate change are a daily reality.

Planet

Fairtrade farmers, producers and workers are becoming more resilient to climate change, They can do this by spending the Fairtrade Premium – that’s the extra money they get from sales of Fairtrade certified crops and products – on projects such as tree planting, irrigation, crop diversification and clean energy, which are more sustainable on a local level but also contribute to the global fight against climate change. Fairtrade farmers and workers decide for themselves how the Premium money is spent, because it is they who know best what they need to become more resilient.

Kenya is listed among the top 20 countries most affected by climate change and studies show that tea growing areas in Kenya are set to lose around 40% of the land suitable for tea planting due to climate change. Farmers and workers, and all of us, can’t afford to sit around and wait for global leaders to take action.

The Sireet Tea Outgrowers Cooperative in Kenya represents over 6,000 small-scale Fairtrade farmers already feeling the impact of climate change – who have no other option but to find a solution to climate change challenges.

As a Fairtrade cooperative, The Sireet Tea Outgrowers Cooperative received training on climate change risks and ways to adapt.

“The experience showed that knowledge is power indeed, especially for the farmers who now feel they can take action and also pass their knowledge onto others,” said Victor Biwot, Operations Manager at Sireet Tea Outgrowers

What can you do?

Choosing our Fairtrade products is a simple way you can support change for farmers and workers trying to thrive in tough market conditions, and investing in strengthening their businesses and communities.

We’re proud to support Fairtrade, and to ensure that fairness to farmers, families and the environment is a key part of everything we do.

When you shop, look for the Fairtrade Mark to make a positive mark on people and the planet.

Fairtrade Mark