Fairtrade Fortnight will be back in 2020 from 24th February to 8th March throughout the UK. Fairtrade for Bassetlaw hopes that people reading the wonderful ‘Life’ magazine that drops through your door, support Fairtrade all year round; but here is a perfect way to enjoy perhaps one of your favourite foods — chocolate, at the same time as highlighting the poor wages chocolate producers are paid — and many of the workers are women.
That’s because this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight theme is She Deserves Fairtrade.
The UK chocolate industry is worth at least £4billion each year. And yet the average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, where 60% of all cocoa is grown, makes less than 75p a day. This is well below the extreme poverty line of around £1.40 per day.
So, while around 4 million tonnes of cocoa are produced each year, Fairtrade cocoa represents just a fraction of this. In West Africa, it’s just 10%.
The reality of life for so many of the hardworking women behind our cocoa doesn’t get the attention it deserves. That’s why they need your support for Fairtrade Fortnight 2020.
Bassetlaw is a Fairtrade District and the local Fairtrade committee are keen for individuals around the area to get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight.
One of the simplest things you can think of for Fairtrade Fortnight to support cocoa farmers around the world, is by buying Fairtrade chocolate and cocoa. Some ideas include:
- If you have a business — is the tea, coffee, cocoa you offer workers Fairtrade?
- Does your school offer teachers Fairtrade tea, coffee, chocolate (occasionally) or as a treat?
- When you host a meeting for your community group or at your church do you make sure any beverages or snacks used include Fairtrade products?
- When you pop into a local cafe do you ask the owners if they use Fairtrade products?
- When you do your shopping do you look for Fairtrade products you can buy?
When you buy a Fairtrade product, you expect the farmers and workers who produced it to have received a fair price. But did you know about the list of requirements, called the Fairtrade Standards, covering workers’ rights, environmental protection, gender and transparency, that also have to be met?
For companies these standards include:
- payment no lower than the Fairtrade Minimum Price
- an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects of the community’s choice.
For farmers and workers, the standards include:
- various requirements to ensure product quality and environmentally sound farming practices.
This benefits not just the long-term health of our planet, but also thousands of farmers working hard to escape poverty
Though it’s ideal to highlight and do a particular event for Fairtrade Fortnight; which could show how using Fairtrade Chocolate provides a fair price for cocoa and, additionally, can make sure women workers earn a fair wage and local producers are using environmentally friendly growing conditions; just choosing Fairtrade chocolate is a great start.
If you have examples of what you are doing for Fairtrade Fortnight, or want to know more contact Kathy Cowbrough, Chair of Fairtrade for Bassetlaw, by email at kathy.Cowbrough@gmail.com or call 01777 706880.
If you want to try some different Fairtrade chocolates as part of your contribution to Fairtrade Fortnight go to the Fairtrade Foundation website to find a list of 15 Fairtrade chocolate choices you can find on the high street at www.fairtrade.org.uk.