Each August during Fairtrade Fortnight, Fairtrade celebrates the positive mark that is made on families and communities when products carrying the Fairtrade Mark are created and purchased.
Fairtrade works to empower farmers and workers in developing countries to get a better deal, through fairer prices, decent working conditions and favourable terms of trade.
By providing Fairtrade products, the certification label ensures a business has given 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.
Fairtrade has provided two examples of how it empowers farmers and workers and taking care of the planet, but adds there are hundreds more behind each of our products with the Fairtrade Mark.
Around 60 to 80 per cent of the world’s food is grown by women. Yet, Fairtrade says they often don’t own the land and see little of the profit made from it.
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.
“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.” says Julienne Assoko, a producer of Cooperative Capressa.
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.
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 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,” says Victor Biwot, Operations Manager at Sireet Tea Outgrowers.
Fairtrade Fortnight takes place from 7 to 20 August.
Learn more about how Fairtrade has helped coffee producers HERE.