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Fair Trade & climate change: Why being a Fair Trade country matters

There’s no question that climate change is happening, and it’s a global problem. All of us need a healthy planet to live on; however, climate change is affecting each of us and every country differently. These climate changes and how they affect each country are based on social, political, and economic conditions where we live.  […]

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There’s no question that climate change is happening, and it’s a global problem. All of us need a healthy planet to live on; however, climate change is affecting each of us and every country differently. These climate changes and how they affect each country are based on social, political, and economic conditions where we live. 

Today, farmers who grow tea, coffee, and cocoa are experiencing a major impact from climate change, along with fast-changing prices, increasing production costs, and more. These farmers have no power in the supply chains they supply. What’s more, they must deal with freak weather, extreme snow or rainfall, lengthy dry seasons, and plant diseases attacking their crops. 

The UK is a fair trade nation that’s committed to ensuring farmers and producers are paid a fair price for their labour and produce. These farmers also receive extra sums to invest in improving the quality of their lives. This money is called the Fair-trade Premium. 

When consumers choose fair-trade tea, coffee, and other products, they can have a huge impact on the lives of thousands of people who live below the poverty line. Farmers and producers also have more means to deal with the effects of climate change on their crops. By working with Fair Trade, we can all ensure that consumers are able to purchase the products they enjoy while supporting those who produce these products. 

The Fair Trade program offers a solution that helps individuals, businesses, and communities focus on the planet and people rather than profits. This program also connects the people of the UK with those around the world and enables them to create a better, more ethical planet for us all. 

What does Fair Trade mean? 

Fair Trade is a program that works to make a difference in the lives of those around the world who grow and produce the products we want. The goal of Fair Trade is to make trade fair and ethical by creating standards that consider the needs of producers and work with them to create the best product for the consumer. 

This program is one of the world’s largest and most diverse movements for change, with 1.8 million farmers and workers in the program, along with more than 2,000 Fair Trade Towns across 28 countries. They all work together to provide fair prices to farmers and workers, creating stronger communities and enabling producers to have more control over their futures. 

There are several main benefits to the Fair Trade program, including: 

  • Supports women-led businesses
  • Gives farmers and workers a fairer income
  • Protects workers with transparent standards
  • Helps deliver the Sustainable Development Goals

How is Fair Trade part of the solution to climate change? 

That’s a great question that we hear pretty often. The truth is that Fair Trade helps support producers and farmers from low-income countries by ensuring they receive fair prices for their products. When they receive fair, stable prices, the farmers and producers in the program are more resilient to adverse weather and are able to adopt more sustainable farming practices. They can do so without having to worry about how much their medicines, food, or their kids’ education and housing cost. 

In addition, Fair Trade works with these producers to reduce carbon emissions and encourage investments in sustainable farming methods. The program works in collaboration with those who are dealing with the climate crises, enabling them to prioritise and fund net zero in their countries and abroad. 

When you support and purchase Fair Trade products, you make a huge contribution to helping climate justice all over the world, providing producers and farmers with the support they need to reduce their carbon emissions and produce goods more sustainably. 

What does the Fair Trade mark mean? 

There are a number of confusing labels, certifications, and business claims on packaging. It’s not always easy to understand what they mean. However, the Fair Trade mark provides an indication that a product meets the Fair Trade Standards by the producers and traders. This means: 

  • The product has a Fair-trade Minimum Price that protects producers against falling prices and offers them a safety net to allow for more investment in their businesses and communities. 
  • The product uses eco-friendly and farming-appropriate methods, such as responsible water and waste management, with the goal of preserving biodiversity, soil fertility, and the use of minimal pesticides. 
  • The producer must comply with non-discriminatory employment practices,  pay equal or higher rates, and take care of the health and safety of their workers. 

You can find the Fair Trade Mark on products at the grocery store, including coffee, bananas, tea, sugar, rice, honey, flowers, and chocolate. Everyone in the UK should be more conscious about their choices and make more sustainable buying choices when possible. They can make these products part of their daily or weekly shopping trips to be more ethical and environmentally friendly. 

So, when you buy a product with the Fair Trade Mark, you can rest assured that the product has been produced, meeting these standards for fairness, sustainability, and good working conditions. 

Today, it’s possible to buy over 6,000 Fair Trade products in the UK by looking for the Fair Trade Mark. Be sure to look for the Fair Trade Mark and avoid copycats, such as the “Fair Trade” and others. Buy only fair trade products that bear the original Fair Trade Mark. 

Fair Trade impact

There’s no question that the Fair Trade program has a huge impact on the farmers and producers who participate in the scheme. When you buy Fair Trade products, you are working with the farmers and producers marginalised by global trade that is not always fair and equitable. You also send a message directly to businesses and governments that you want to ensure trade is fair and helps the producers and communities where their items are produced. 

You directly help those who are usually marginalised and directly feel the impact of climate change the most. The Fair Trade funds help these farmers and producers better cope with changing weather caused by global climate change. 

So, by purchasing Fair Trade products, you have a direct impact on communities around the world and support farmers and producers to keep creating the products you enjoy at a fair price. What better way to ensure those most impacted by climate change can have a better life and reduce their carbon emissions at the same time.

What is the business case for sustainability?

Thursday 21 February 2024, 1:00-2:00 PM

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