Fairtrade Fortnight. Why fair trade matters more than ever.
Imagine being a cocoa farmer in West Africa, nurturing your plants for five years before they produce a crop. You take the cocoa pods to market only to discover the price has dropped and you haven’t earned enough to even cover your costs. You have no choice but to get into debt just to cover the basics.
Throw in the unpredictability of climate change, drought followed by flooding. You lose a third of your crop and wonder how you can survive. Your children tell you they don’t want to be farmers and are moving off the land. You wonder if it’s time for you to leave too.
This is what life is like for many farmers around the world. No matter how hard they work they’re always at the mercy of the global market.
The fair trade movement is an outcry against this injustice, a way of guaranteeing basic humanity to the people who grow our food. As well as paying a fair price for the crop it provides a support network for farmers and their communities, giving them the chance to build better lives. It helps them adapt to climate change, to diversify and increase productivity, it gives them a hand when things go wrong.
Isn’t this the bare minimum we should give farmers in exchange for the food that keeps us alive, for the treats we enjoy so much? Fairtrade should be our first consideration when we buy, not an added extra. Lets choose the world we want.