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, mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.
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In 2022, our online Choose the World you Want Festival will return from 21 February to 6 March. Last year’s festival saw campaigners, shoppers, students and businesses come together in a show of support for the farmers behind our food on the front line of the climate crisis. From online panels to bake-offs and coffee mornings over 50 virtual events took place as part of our virtual festival, with supporters sharing the power of Fairtrade and what needs to happen next to ensure farmers and workers are put front and centre of conversations on how to tackle the climate crisis. 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.
Since last Fairtrade Fortnight we have seen the G7 and COP26 take place. Over 33,000 campaigners joined 1.8m Fairtrade farmers and workers in backing the Be Fair With Your Climate Promise challenge to world leaders at the UN COP26 summit. But frustration came as the wealthiest nations failed to recognise the urgent need to invest in farmer expertise by delaying their promised $100bn annual funding to the most climate vulnerable countries until 2023. That isn’t good enough.
“A frustrating conclusion to a summit filled with hope.” This was the verdict of Mary Kinyua, Fairtrade’s lead COP26 delegate, and a Fairtrade flower farmer representative.
Climate justice was never going to be won or lost at one conference in Glasgow. But where the COP26 agreement fell short, we need to increase the pressure for urgent action.
CHOOSE THE WORLD YOU WANT THIS FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT
We need to be louder than ever to make sure politicians turn their promises into action at COP27 in Cairo next year. The failure to deliver enough progress at COP26 makes it even more important that governments get serious next year. We also need businesses to support Fairtrade more than ever.
In Fortnight 2021 we heard about the determined, ambitious work of Fairtrade farmers taking on the climate crisis. The deep frustration is that politicians from the world’s wealthiest nations at COP26 failed to match that ambition and determination.
As Fairtrade farmers continue their work, we need our politicians and business leaders to work harder.
COP26 may be over, but we need to make sure climate justice remains a top priority. For politicians, for business leaders, and for all of us.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED IN FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT?
- Our 2022 festival will be online again, however, if you want to and feel comfortable to run a local public event in your community then please do! Any and all events, online and offline, are welcome from stalls to panels, bake-offs to coffee mornings and quiz nights. We are only able to offer virtual speakers in 2022 but if you would like a staff speaker from the Fairtrade Foundation to join your virtual event, please tell us a little bit more about what you have planned.
- Read the stories of farmers affected by climate change.
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.