Wherever we see an item displaying the Fairtrade logo, we know that the farmer is guaranteed a Fair Price and an extra Premium which can be invested in development of their product or in diversification, as well as in benefits such as improved health and education for the community. We also know that climate change disasters are hitting low income countries hardest. Fairtrade certification, which provides the Premium, becomes even more important in mitigating climate change.
Through Traidcraft, we hear from Sriyani of Ma’s Happy Life Kitchen (producer of coconut oil sold on the Stall) who says:
“We get a good income from our coconuts, so during difficult times, we have a little money saved to cover our daily costs. As part of Fairtrade, we get knowledge from other people in the association in ways in which they have done things differently that have helped. Also, the premium is used for things which are useful for our farms, like expanding the water retention ditches and getting a mechanical brush cutter. It feels good to be part of a group that helps each other and are looking at keeping on improving in the future.”
Our Fair trade stall also sells Zaytoun Olive Oil and Dates. Khader Khader is an olive oil producer from Nus Ijbeil village in the Jenin district of Palestine. He struggled to sell his olives until he joined Palestine Fairtrade Association which changed his life so he now owns a tractor and works his land as well as for other farmers. Khader attends training organised by the Fairtrade Cooperative which supports capacity for climate resilience which he combines with age-old regenerative farming techniques. Despite loss of land due to the occupation, and the growing impact of climate change, Khader’s livelihood allows him a security and a sense of continuity as he farms his ancestors’ land.
Coffee, tea and chocolate are all popular items on our Fair trade stall. The Fairtrade Foundation website gives examples of how producers are adapting to climate change, assisted by the Fairtrade Premium. Tea workers in India are replacing traditional wood- burning heating with a solar-panelled system. Coffee farmers in Costa Rica are replanting trees to prevent soil erosion and investing in environmentally friendly ovens, fuelled by recycled coffee hulls and dried shells of macadamia nuts – thus they no longer need to cut forest trees and so can preserve the rainforest and the oxygen they produce. Together with farmers and businesses, Fairtrade is working for a fairer future.
Fairtrade focuses on sustainable pricing, with the safety net of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the additional Fairtrade Premium, going further than any other certification label.
We all have our part to play in supporting the producers of the goods we like to buy as they face and deal with the worsening effects of climate change. We were delighted the Fair trade stall returned to the Cathedral during Fairtrade Fortnight 2022, and that it is has much support. However, we can carry only a limited range of Fair trade items – please tell us if there is a Traidcraft product you would like us to stock. The good news is that products carrying the Fairtrade logo (over 6,000) are available in many outlets but buying from our stall carries an extra bonus – the annual profit we make, usually a little above £300, is donated to Traidcraft Exchange. Through their international teams, they work with some of the poorest people in the world to help them build better businesses, fight for better working conditions, adapt to climate change and protect the future of the earth, and get the respect they deserve.
Elaine de Villiers, Eco-Group