For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.
We’ve always organised lots of events in SE Hants but in 2021, Fairtrade Fortnight will feel very different. 2020 has been a hard year and we know that physically campaigning and meeting people will continue to be challenging as we head into the new year but we have also heard from so many of you that you want to continue to support Fairtrade through this time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever how interconnected we are globally. This interconnection is at the very heart of the Fairtrade message and is where your role begins. You are part of the Fairtrade movement and you have the power to drive long term change not only with your shopping choices but with your support in spreading the message. We just have to do this a little differently in 2021!
In Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, we will highlight the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in the communities Fairtrade works with. The facts are straightforward. Farmers and workers in the global south, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected. They have told us that:
- Climate change is one of their biggest challenges right now.
- Low prices for their crops mean that they are struggling to fight back.
- With more money through Fairtrade they feel more equipped to meet their everyday needs and deal with the challenges posed by climate change.
The climate crisis is an immediate and ever-increasing threat and those in climate vulnerable countries are already seeing its impacts from droughts and crop disease to floods, heatwaves and shrinking harvests.
With the emergence of the global COVID pandemic, the challenges that farmers face now are bigger than ever before with falling commodity prices and widespread shocks reverberating along our global supply chains. Ongoing poverty in farming communities makes it increasingly hard to cope with the effects of climate change.
We need your help to put farmer voices at the heart of tackling the climate crisis and share the reality of their struggles. Our global trading system is balanced in favour of the powerful few. Trapped in this system, farmers already struggle to meet their immediate needs. More than ever, they need a fair price for their crops and their hard work.
Fairtrade works to raise the voices of producers and prioritise what they need to respond to the environmental crises unfolding in already vulnerable communities. This Fortnight, we are asking you to ‘Choose the World You Want’ and use your voice to tell others about the challenges that farmers face from climate change.
We will be hosting a virtual online festival bringing together schools, universities, businesses, supporters, campaigners and farmers from across the world to choose the world they want.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
- Join our online festival with your friends and family. More details are coming in the new year including how to sign up for different online events curated by us, our friends in the global Fairtrade movement and the amazing grassroots network.
- Use our social media resources to spread the word online and add more voices to the fight. More online Fortnight resources will be arriving soon in our revamped Resources Library. Go to Resources Library
- Are you a young person between the ages of 5-25? Get involved in the ‘Choose the World You Want’ youth exhibition in Fairtrade Fortnight 2021. Details are coming soon.
- Read the stories of farmers affected by climate change. We will be sharing these stories in the new year.
- You can also host your own online meeting or event:
- This could be anything from a discussion space, a quiz, a talk… even an online coffee morning, cook along or crafting session. We know you all have so many ideas and anything goes as long as it gives you the opportunity to talk Fairtrade!
- A ‘How to support Fairtrade online’ guide with lots of tips, tricks and examples from your fellow campaigners is available now, as well as an image to advertise your online event. More resources will become available in the new year including a presentation of stories and messages that you can adapt and use.
- You can still request a staff speaker from the Foundation to attend your own virtual event.
- You can sign the Climate Coalition’s Climate Declaration and tell your local MP or Council about your commitment to putting the voices of producers at the heart of the climate crisis fight. New press release templates to use are coming soon.
FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 2021 IN SCHOOLS
Our ‘Climate, Fairtrade and You’ Education Packs have been produced for teachers and educators to discuss how the climate crisis affects farmers and workers overseas. Through assemblies (designed with social distancing in mind!), lesson plans and activities, young people will have the opportunity to discover how their choices can impact people around the world, but also the planet that we live on.
Visit the Fairtrade Schools site to download your Education Pack for Early Years, Primary schools or Secondary schools.
HOW DOES FAIRTRADE SUPPORT FARMERS IN THE CLIMATE CRISIS?
Fairtrade is about social, economic and environmental justice. These are built into our standards and drive everything we do. A root cause of the inability to adapt to and mitigate climate change is poverty. More money in the hands of farmers is needed if they are to adapt and survive the climate crisis. Choosing Fairtrade fights for improvements in producers’ livelihoods with collective strength through co-ops and their bargaining power, the protection of a Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premiums.
In 2019, Fairtrade also launched an ambitious new living incomes campaign to lead the way to a sustainable future for cocoa farmers. A living income would provide farmers with a decent standard of living – enough to cover all their cocoa farming costs and enough to cover their basic human rights, like a nutritious diet, children’s education and healthcare. Only when they have met these basic needs can they start to meet the challenges of our changing climate.
Find out more about why choosing Fairtrade means choosing to fight climate change on our Climate Justice campaign page.
This is what happened last year