It's Fairtrade fortnight and as a Fairtrade license holder it's our responsibility to amplify the voices of marginalised suppliers and producers as much as ever in 2017.
2017 sees the 23rd Fairtrade Fortnight in the UK. It will also be one of the most uncertain years for a generation when it comes to trade. Following the vote for Brexit, the UK will be coming to terms with the urgent need to renegotiate more than 50 international trade deals. And no one knows yet what this will mean for farmers and workers in poor countries. At the same time, the spiraling price wars between supermarkets are set to intensify, putting even more pressure on the most vulnerable producers who deliver so much of what we eat and use. It’s more crucial than ever that the voices of farmers and workers are heard – to combat the risk of undoing the progress of the past two decades of Fairtrade, and putting farmers in an even worse position in the future. If people really knew the true human cost of exploitation, would they still make the same choices?
The Human Cost
The low prices that are paid to non Fairtrade supplier mean:
• They can only afford to feed their families one meal a day, leading to health problems for their children.
• They can’t afford medical care and put off treatment their families really need.
• They don’t have enough money to send their children to school. Lack of money also means pressure for children to work.
• They can’t afford to invest in better equipment. Which means they can’t improve the quality of their products and charge a higher price for them.
Fairtrade was implemented to change this, so its important to let more people to know why choosing Fairtrade really matters. We want them to understand that Fairtrade means suppliers get a better deal for what they produce, even if the product make cost a little more if you think about the benefit buying Fairtrade has on the farmers and their families the extra cost seems insignificant.