Today is the start of Fairtrade Fortnight (22 Feb -7 March 2021) and so I am currently doing an audit of my weekly food shop to make sure that wherever possible I am buying Fairtrade certified products.
I hadn’t previously thought of Fairtrade products as being that important in the fight against climate change however having now actually read about what Fairtrade certification means, I now appreciate how crucial the Fairtrade standards are to support farmers in the developing world with the challenges of climate change that they are already facing.
By ensuring that farmers are getting paid a fair living wage, it will not only allow them to meet their basic everyday needs but it will also enable them to adopt more sustainable ways of farming and to be able to adapt their methods to mitigate the damaging effects of climate change on their crops. What I hadn’t also appreciated was that Fairtrade products are also grown in line with the Fairtrade Eco-friendly standards including bans on deforestation, reducing carbon footprints and protections for biodiversity.
Changing weather patterns and degrading soil are already making farming difficult in the developing world. Fairtrade’s website says that “Up to 50% of land used for coffee could be unusable by 2050.” and “Wine production could reduce by 40-50% in South Africa and Chile.”
So for the Fairtrade campaign this year it is asking us to ‘Choose the World you Want’. As consumers we once again have the power to help make a difference by simply making sure that the products we buy from the developing world have the Fairtrade certification.
The key products that I am checking first are my tea, coffee, sugar, spreads, oils, cocoa, bananas, fruit juice and South American and South African wines. But it also applies to many more products including herbs and spices, cotton, beauty products, flowers and gold which will take a bit more time for me to look into.
The Fairtrade website has some good information about why it is so important to support this campaign as well as a petition to sign and some helpful information on suppliers of Fairtrade products.
I now just need to find a Fairtrade chocolate spread before the one that we currently use runs out!