This is to remind Branches that Fairtrade Fortnight will be held from 22 February to 7 March.

Fairtrade Fortnight aims to put a spotlight on trade. When trade is fair it has the potential to improve the lives of the farmers and workers who grow the products. Every Fairtrade choice we make helps support farmers and workers, as well as their families and communities, to live a better life. Through fairer prices, better working conditions every Fairtrade product is helping to transform the livelihoods of millions of people throughout the world. However, there is still a long way to go to help the poorest farmers in the global south.

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 it a little differently in 2021.

This year Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, is highlighting the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in the communities Fairtrade works with. 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 now face are bigger than ever before with falling commodity prices and widespread shocks reverberating along the global supply chains. Ongoing poverty in farming communities makes it increasingly hard to cope with the effects of climate change.

Your help is needed to put framers’ voices at the heart of tackling the climate crisis and share the reality of their struggles. More than ever, they need a fair price for their crops and their hard work.

How to get Involved:

  • Buy Fairtrade products to support the right for farmers to be paid fairly for their work, meaning they have the chance to fight the challenges of the climate crisis right now.
  • Spread the word online by posting the attached banner on social media sites;
  • Host your own online meeting or event. This could be anything from a discussion space, a quiz, or even an on-line coffee morning;
  • You can sign the Climate Coalition’s Climate Declaration and tell your local MP or Council about your commitment to putting the voices of farmers and workers at the heart of the climate crisis fight;
  • Get your employer to raise awareness on their website/intranet; and
  • Ensure Fairtrade products are used in staff canteens.

Other ways to get involved can be found on the Fairtrade Foundation website and the Fairtrade Ireland website.

By doing these simple things we will have played a vital role in alleviating poverty and supporting marginalised producers in a manner that promotes dignity and self-sufficiency. Fairtrade means many farmers and workers are able to fulfil a basic human need – to put enough food on the table for the people they care about, all year round.

Please ensure this information is circulated as widely as possible.

Geraldine Alexander
Assistant Secretary
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