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Ready for Fairtrade Fortnight?

27th February-12th March 2017

Barney Smyth from the Fairtrade Foundation tells us what we can do this Fairtrade Fortnight 

The food on our tables, the tea and coffee in our mugs all comes from farmers who toil, sweat and slog.

Yet these farmers are trapped in a system that is unfair, one that rips them off. However hard they work to provide the things we depend on, they still aren’t paid what they deserve. And every time we buy these products, we become part of the problem.

Our luxuries come at a price

Thousands of farmers in countries such as Malawi, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire contribute to the tea, coffee and cocoa we enjoy in the UK. Yet 1 in 3 people in Kenya’s coffee and tea growing regions are trapped in poverty, tea pickers in Malawi earn less than £1.46 per day, and the average cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 38p a day. These low wages mean families only eat once a day, can’t afford medical care, don’t have enough money to send their children to school and cannot invest to improve their situation.

That’s why Fairtrade matters

We’re here to change this, but we need more people to know why choosing Fairtrade really matters. We want to demonstrate that Fairtrade means farmers get a better deal for what they grow. Fairtrade certification represents a set of robust and sustainable standards, which means these producers receive better and more stable incomes.

Take Edson Maotchedwe from Malawi, a Fairtrade tea farmer and father of seven. Edson’s co-operative has invested Fairtrade Premium in building a maternity wing and school, a new bridge, clean water and an ambulance. This was life-saving when two of Edson’s children suffered from malaria.

The Catering Mark is part of the solution.

In 2016, Catering Mark award holders spent £458k on Fairtrade products*.

This year, we’re asking you to put Fairtrade in your break, and take exploitation out. You can get involved through the following ways:

  • Galvanise your catering staff and hold a Fairtrade break event at your site. Make sure you order an event pack.
  • Highlight your Fairtrade range to customers, and look to extend it by using our National Purchasing Guide.
  • Use our digital assets and join the conversations with #fairtradefortnight.

With your help we can amplify the voices of marginalised farmers more than ever and provide even greater positive impact to the 1.6 million global Fairtrade farmers, workers and their communities.

To find more opportunities to engage in Fairtrade, take a look at www.fairtrade.org.uk/catering  or email me at Barney.smyth@fairtrade.org.uk.

You can download the campaign leaflet here.

*Silver and Gold award holders get points for using Fairtrade products.

Share your photos!

Send us photos of your Fairtrade Fortnight activities and we’ll feature the best in a future e-news. Email jpgs to catering@foodforlife.org.uk.

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